TULSA, Okla. — After a year of work and planning, The Goat Bar and Kitchen in downtown Tulsa had its big opening March 16. The next day, St. Patrick’s Day, was a success for them as well.
“And then just like that, we saw on the news that we had to shut down at midnight," said James Alame, co-owner of The Goat. "And so that put a lot of pressure and stress on us to be able to make it through these first couple of months with no customers.”
The Mediterranean restaurant had to lay off all of its newly hired staff.
“We had a full staff that we hired and we also had a little delay to open," Alame said. "So, I feel really bad for our staff because a lot of them had to quit their jobs. They already had one or two weeks without work before this even happened. And then, bam, just like that, two days in, they’re already back to nothing again.”
The Goat closed for a week to regroup and then reopened for take out and delivery. Alame said they’re taking extra precautions with cleaning, which is one reason why Oklahomans should go to and support their local restaurants.
“I think it’s a lot safer to come to your local business, somewhere like us, and pick up a to-go order than going to Walmart or QuikTrip and standing in those buys lines," Alame said.
They didn’t get the opening they wanted, but The Goat has seen a lot of support from the downtown community.
“We’ve had a lot of local people come in," said Lauren Biran, floor manager at The Goat. "Other restaurant owners have come to support us as well. We’ve had a lot of family and friends too. So, that helps. So, yeah, we’re just waiting for all this to pass by so we can finally get things going again.”
The Goat is eager to finally have a restaurant full of customers like they dreamed about, but know that can’t happen unless people follow the social distancing rules.
“I mean, I know we can make it through one or two months," Alame said. "But if people don’t listen to what they’re supposed to do, and keep coming out and spreading this, it’s not going to end and it’s just going to take longer for everybody.”
The Goat is open every day from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
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