November 17, 2020

Lockdowns Causes Angst for Kosher Groceries and Restaurants

Brooklyn…It should have been a busy shopping day on Flatbush’s commercial streets, but instead store after store was shuttered as part of the lockdown in the designated Red Zone. While food stores and other “essential” businesses were allowed to remain open, the owners say that lockdowns have an adverse effect on their businesses. “You would think that food stores are invincible even in a pandemic but less traffic in the streets also means less business for us,” one grocery retailer said. For restaurants who were forced to shut down even their outdoor dining, the latest lockdown is only adding to a disastrous year of mounting financial losses. Customers admit that they also buy more food when they are up and about shopping. Even when the Red Zone was lifted, the reduced restrictions were still onerous for the restaurants who agree that only a full return to conventional dining may save their businesses. Many are concerned that more lockdowns may be in the wings as numbers spike and as President-Elect Joseph Biden has hinted at additional lockdowns.

Despite the hard times for kosher eateries, there are reports of several new pending kosher restaurants as entrepreneurs plan for “the better times.” In New Haven’s Westville Village at least two new kosher restaurants are planned. The Grunblatt’s plan to open Fin and Scale, a kosher sushi restaurant. The other, Ladle and Loaf, will feature glatt kosher (meat) Middle Eastern-style meals spiced with flavors found from Morocco to India. A large number of young Orthodox Jewish families have moved to New Haven.