CLEVELAND — Laurie Torres has been the owner of Mallorca, a Spanish restaurant in Downtown Cleveland, for nearly 25 years.
“I’ve had literally the same chef, and most of the same staff, for that long. We are like a family,” said Torres.
Like family, you have your good times and your bad. This year is considered one of those lows.
“We depend a lot on the shows, the games, we depend our lunch on office workers, we depend our Happy Hour on people leaving their offices. Most people are working from home, so there’s not a lot of people in the city, it feels like a ghost town. There’s nothing going on,” she said.
But a ghost town is exactly the opposite of what New Year’s Eve in year’s past would look like.
“Last year, we had a packed house full of people doing a Spanish fiesta, teaching flamenco dancing, and doing the castanets, and it was a blast,” she said.
She had planned to bring that same flare to this year’s celebration.
“We were going to do a masquerade party for New Year’s Eve, but since we can’t do that this year we are going to do Carnivale in a box,” said Torres. “Basically your own Carnivale, masquerade party at home. It is a 4-course meal. It includes wine, it includes sangria, it includes a ton of our own Spanish food.”
The box is $150 for two people and Torres said they’re almost sold out.
Lockkeepers Restaurant in Valley View is also typically bustling the weeks leading up to Christmas and New Year’s, but general manager Brian Woehrman said this season is quite different.
“With the curfew and limited capacity in the dining room, it’s really devastated the business. It’s been tough. We are doing the best we can,” said Woehrman.
With limited capacity, reservations are full for the restaurant’s NYE celebration.
“We want to give the Lockkeeprers experience, even for those who don’t feel safe going out to dine, or like I said, they can’t get in or find a reservation here,” he said. “We have a great option for carryout.”
For $150 customers can bring Lockkeeper’s New Year’s Eve dinner home with two steaks, shrimp cocktail, lobster risotto, desserts and champagne to ring in 2021.