COVID-19 in Colorado

Centennial restaurants 'ride out the storm' at Streets at SouthGlenn

Most businesses closed at outdoor mall, but restaurants still open despite temporary cuts

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Just 11 months after opening a crawfish restaurant at The Streets at SouthGlenn, 27-year-old Khiem Nguyen had to lay off much of his staff.

“Chefs, cooks, employees — you name it,” Nguyen said. He hopes to bring them back when he's able.

Colorado on March 16 ordered bars and restaurants to stop dine-in service for 30 days, later extending that shutdown through the end of April.

Delivery, take-out and drive-thru are still allowed, leaving large chains and small businesses to figure out how to stay afloat amid the economic changes dealt by COVID-19, the disease caused by a novel coronavirus.

“We'll ride the storm out together as best we can,” said Nguyen, who lives in Parker. He describes his Crawfish Boil Co., a restaurant and bar, as a “small mom-and-pop shop.” It's open for take-out and delivery.

The Streets at SouthGlenn, Centennial's flagship shopping development at South University Boulevard and East Arapahoe Road, remains open. But the vast majority of its businesses are closed, said Donald Provost, founding principal of the company that controls most of SouthGlenn.

“Whole Foods and restaurants will stay open,” said Provost, of Alberta Development Partners. SouthGlenn “will not have any planned activities or events until it's safe to so.”

Other malls and shopping centers in the Denver metro area have closed or modified their hours amid the spread of COVID-19. The Outlets at Castle Rock, a significant contributor to that town's sales tax revenue, shut down until March 30.

SouthGlenn has intensified its existing cleaning protocol, including ramping up cleaning efforts of all commonly touched surfaces such as seating, doors, handrails, elevators and directories, its website says.

"We are following the official guidance from federal, state and local health officials and they have told us that closing the mall is not a recommended action at this time," the site says.

Angel Byun, a manager at Crawfish Boil Co., is focused on following guidelines for social distancing — a public health term that means avoiding gatherings and staying far enough away from people to remain healthy during the pandemic. She has been disappointed by seeing some flout the guidance, but seeing positive interactions gives her hope.

“I'm happy with ultimately how people are helping each other out,” said Byun, a 30-year-old from south Jefferson County. “There is still good in this world.”

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