La Perla Sports Cantina

Mark Tofia is the owner of La Perla Sports Cantina. 

After state orders to end in-restaurant dining, many Glendale restaurants remain open for takeout and delivery. However, several report they have had to cut staff.

Gov. Doug Ducey prohibited dining in restaurants as of Saturday, March 21. His  order directed restaurants to only offer takeout and delivery options. Since then, restaurants in Glendale have begun to follow the new guidelines. 

But many are seeing business take a steep fall.

Lulu Rodriguez has been one of the owners of Bitzee Mama’s for 10 years. The restaurant has been open in Downtown Glendale for 48 years. 

“I think we should take care of our community first,” Rodriguez said. “We are curbside right now and we shut down the dine-in.”

Since it became a curbside-service only restaurant, Rodriguez said the business has taken a hit and she has considerably reduced staff work hours. She said she doesn’t plan on letting go any of her employees, but she can’t keep them from being employed elsewhere.

“If they decide to get a job somewhere else, I would understand,” Rodriguez said. “If I don’t have a business, I can’t really employ them.”

Rodriquez said she loves the community of Glendale and she has found comfort in the support her business has received. She acknowledged it is important to take the necessary precautions.

“The residents have been amazing. They have supported us through our social media,” she said.

Mark Tofia, owner of La Perla Sports Cantina, shares the clientele of Downtown Glendale with Rodriguez. Tofia’s restaurant/bar just celebrated its one-year anniversary.

He also understands the precautions and attempts to slow the spread of COVID-19.

“It’s very concerning but I don’t think that we should be alarmed,” Tafoia said. “I have friends that have been through the situation in China and said that everything went smooth for them.”

Tofia said he has also reduced his staff by more than half. Although his staff is smaller, he said his business will remain open for the essential personnel that needs to be on the streets during the pandemic. 

“We should stay safe and listen to what the state officials are saying,” Tafoia said. “If we work together, we will get through this faster.”