Restaurants and bars across the state were among the first businesses to be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
One of many struggling to keep pace is Glendale’s Desert Rose Pizza and Gastropub.
Owners Pete Gliniak and Teresa Outzen have been serving the West Valley since 2016 and pride their establishment as a family-friendly, dog-friendly and sports-friendly pub.
“We started Desert Rose because we really couldn’t find anything on the westside that was an independent, cool place to go eat,” Outzen said. “We had a bed and breakfast around the corner and decided to create our own little destination spot.”
The eclectic restaurant is known for its live music, fun games and diverse events. However, since the pandemic occurred, Desert Rose was forced to postpone community favorites like Poker Night and VW Meet and Greets.
While Outzen said they plan to bring back some entertainment next month, she added that it all depends on how current virus trends look.
“As soon as the state opens up and allows us to host larger parties and our normal capacity, we will be able to return with all the entertainment we know and love,” Outzen said.
Like many other local establishments, Desert Rose was hit hard when COVID-19 closed all dine-in restaurants. The downtown fixture is still feeling the impacts, months after reopening.
Outzen said the restaurant has many regular customers who are not reluctant to go out.
“With the stopping of the economy and people not working, it has definitely affected people’s income, and unfortunately, they can’t afford to go out,” Outzen said. “But that’s why we are hopeful when we can get back to normal and get people back to work, they can come on out again.”
She noted a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan helped her keep from folding—and continuing to pay her employees.
“If it wasn’t for the PPP loan, we never would have reopened,” Outzen said. “We had no funds to give us the opportunity to start over again, and that’s essentially what we had to do.”
While Outzen said her staff is happy to be open, she stressed they are adamant about following Arizona Department of Health Services guidelines, including a strict mask policy.
The restaurant continues to offer both indoor and outdoor spaced seating with up to 10 guests per table. All doors are kept open to avoid door and knob touching, and multiple disinfectant stations have been installed throughout the premises.
“We have a very large facility, and we hope our customers feel comfortable with how we approached things,” Outzen said. “We really wanted to keep experiences fun and entertaining for the whole family.”
She noted there are options for people who are reluctant to be in public but still want to enjoy Desert Rose food.
“Even if they aren’t comfortable with dining in, we offer curbside pickup and plenty of gift cards,” Outzen said.
“Just remember: When you support us, you are also supporting your local community and staff.”
Desert Rose Pizza and Gastropub is located at 6729 N. 57th Drive, Glendale. For more information, visit desertrosepizzaandgastropub.com or call 623-937-3004.