Cape Coral's oldest & newest eateries are working to keep their doors open

Posted at 11:54 PM, Dec 10, 2020

CAPE CORAL, Fla. — Jody Mchose, owner of Thirsty’s restaurants says things have been tough. Thirsty’s has been in the family for 33 years, and after taking over 23 years ago, Mchose says she never thought she’d see times like this.

“We don’t have the business that we should have right now because people aren’t coming out because they are afraid, and I understand that because I don't want anybody to get sick, but I think we are very safe here,” said Jody Mchose, owner Thirsty's Restaurant.

Following all Covid - 19 safety guidelines, Mchose says she’s had to cut back, opening 5 days a week instead of 6, and having 2 waitresses on staff, she's trying to patch the hole in her pocketbooks.

“Well, financially we’re just staying afloat, you know just like many other businesses. You know you get shut down for 5 weeks and you know the government gives you a $1200 check and how does that help people? It’s not. It’s a lot of stress you know because I don’t want to lose the people I have. I don’t want to shut down I want to stay in business. We’ve been in business for 23 years year and they need jobs, so I’m doing whatever I can to cut back, and work a lot myself too, to keep things going,” said Mchose.

However, not too far away, Jeremy Vincent took advantage of an opportunity to expand his business. His decision came after the former owners of Redfish said they were shutting down, so Vincent opened a pop-up style restaurant of Jungle Bird Tiki on August 4th on the property.

“We had gotten such great feedback and the guests had really been appreciating what we were doing, the quality of food that we were putting out, that we were like, I think we can make a real go at this and make it a full-time concept and as fate had had it, we opened up full-time on November 1,” said Jeremy Vincent, owner of Jungle Bird Tiki.

Expanding not only the physical aspect of their business but their menus to accommodate the high number of guests, like Thirsty’s restaurant, the Jungle Bird Tiki is following all Covid - 19 safety guidelines, but even for this fairly new business, Vincent says times are still tough.

“You don’t know if people are going to come out at all or what’s going to happen. So it definitely makes it difficult as far as staffing ordering and things like that, because you can use your sale numbers or any of the knowledge from the previous years, but none of that really matters anymore,” said Vincent.

Despite their success, Vincent sympathizes with all restaurants that were not as lucky and says he hopes everyone can somehow bounce back.