‘We sold out at 3 p.m., and it was great;’ Crowds return to St. Louis bars and restaurants

Hospitality workers report a larger crowd over the past week, a welcome sign about a year after the pandemic shut down.

ST. LOUIS – When Amy Guo closes the door of Sando Shack’s new food truck on Sunday afternoon, her crew is ready to roll out a little earlier than expected.

“We sold out at 3pm and it was great,” she said of the lunch break.

It’s the first time the pop-up sandwich shop has launched the new truck. They were supposed to be stationed outside of Urban Chestnut’s city center by 4:00 p.m., but sold out earlier than expected.

“We expected what the turnout would be and we exceeded it,” said Guo. “So it was a really good turnout today.”

Brewery workers said they had also suddenly seen crowds last week, a welcome sign about a year after the pandemic brought the hotel industry to a standstill.

“I think it will only escalate further,” said Jon Shine, Urban Chestnut partner.

Shine attributes the rapid growth to the introduction of vaccines, and the addition of the spring weather helps too. However, they only have a seating capacity of around 25% and are a reminder to “wear a mask” attached to the entrance gate.

“Customers are confident that more people will be vaccinated, but we want to make sure that we continue to give people a very safe environment where they can spend time with their friends and family and feel safe. That is the most important thing. ” Shine said.

As Guo prepares to take to the streets, she knows that her business at the stops may need more “Sandos” for the crowd for the next week.

In addition to the capacity constraints, some restaurant owners are reporting to 5 On Your Side that they are struggling to find enough staff to keep up with demand. A recommendation: make a reservation if possible.

RELATED: Restaurants in the St. Louis area report growing crowds, but staffing issues

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