Here are some of the top stories we’re following for Thursday May 21, 2020.
Delaware News Journal
V-Trap Kitchen & Lounge, an exclusively vegan restaurant in Wilmington’s Little Italy neighborhood, has closed its doors.
Owners Kristin and Milton Bowen announced in a Facebook post Wednesday night the restaurant on North Lincoln Street has ceased operations.
“It is with a heavy heart, yet hopeful outlook, that we must close our doors. We hope to continue to find creative ways to bring fresh and delicious food to Wilmington,” the post read.
“And as we both say, “We’ll figure it out.” In the meantime, if you know of other entrepreneurs hoping to launch their dream on the WestSide, please let us know.”
The Bowens also wrote, “We were able to live out a dream and create something from nothing! We are so blessed and thankful for all of the wonderful relationships we formed and the positive vibe you helped us bring to this space.”
The loss of the restaurant, which opened more than a year ago in the space of the former Bistro Jacques at 607 N. Lincoln St., is a blow to diners following plant-based diets.
The couple also once ran Nude Food-On-The-Go, a vegan/vegetarian food truck that catered to those with special dietary needs or preferences.
Customers have been posting their dismay over the closing in Facebook comments.
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“Heart is breaking over here…..we were so very happy to enjoy your restaurant and food truck,” wrote one patron.
Since restaurants were ordered to close their dining rooms due to COVID-19 on March 16 by Gov. John Carney, V-Trap, like other eateries, has had to rely on takeout orders to stay in business.
The restaurant also donated family meals and trays of food for night shift workers at nearby St. Francis Hospital.
Kristin and Milton Bowen said they opened the restaurant to fill a growing need for patrons looking for healthy food options that exclude meat, dairy products and eggs.
The name, V-Trap, was “a play on words,” Kristin told Delaware Online/The News Journal in 2019 interview.
“We didn’t want vegan in the name. V-Trap means it’s a food trap, but it’s a good food trap.”
Dining restrictions due to the coronavirus have devastated Delaware’s restaurant industry, which was expected to lose more than $160 million in sales in April alone.
The state is estimated to have more than 1,900 food and drinking establishments and 90% of Delaware operators have had to lay off or furlough employees since the coronavirus began, according to the Delaware Restaurant Association.
Gov. Carney announced restaurants can resume dine-in services on June 1, but with strict limitations.
Guests must make reservations and wear face masks, and the total number of customers at establishments cannot exceed 30% of the fire code occupancy.
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“Restaurants can’t survive on 30 percent,” said Carrie Leishman, CEO of the Delaware Restaurant Association. It is not yet known when restrictions will be further eased.
The National Restaurant Association estimates that between 20 to 30 percent of Delaware operators will permanently closed their doors before restaurants are fully allowed to reopen.
Some businesses, such as Cheese Chalet in Pike Creek, are still shuttered. The gourmet food shop that operated for more than 32 years turned off its lights on March 28.
At that time, owners Henry and Carol Huffman posted a Facebook message about the future: “We have not yet made a final decision as to whether we are closing our doors forever. We have some hopes of ‘resurrection.'”
The business remains closed.
Contact Patricia Talorico at (302) 324-2861 or [email protected] and on Twitter @pattytalorico
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