Here’s why Vail Valley restaurants that were open for take-out during COVID-19 are closing |

Here’s why restaurants that were open for take-out during COVID-19 are closing

'We really have to put our health first'

As COVID-19’s severity increases and legislators across Colorado and the country implement orders to stress the importance of quarantining, some restaurants are closing down for the time being, even though they were offering curbside and takeout options that allowed customers and employees to maintain distance between each other.

Recently, Blue Moose Pizza, Juniper, Vintage, Columbine Bakery and others have announced that they will close down for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dan and Ronda Niederhauser own Columbine Bakery and are longtime locals.
Special to the Daily

Ronda and Dan Niederhauser own Columbine Bakery. Their daughter is a nurse in Denver, and their son is pursuing a graduate degree in medical science. They told their parents, “I don’t know why you’re still open.”

All nonessential businesses have been closed in the state of Colorado, though among other establishments, restaurants are considered essential because they provide food.

Niederhauser said her kids told her that the risk of customers spreading germs to them was high, even with the extra disinfecting and disposable gloves the bakery had been using.

Nevertheless, making the decision to close wasn’t an easy one for the Niederhausers, especially coming off strong performances in January and February.

“My husband and I have been here for 31 years. Aren’t we essential to the community? But we don’t want anyone to get sick,” she said.

The bakery is about providing comfort food, which most people probably need a little bit of right now, which was part of the motivation to stay in operation. But they’d stopped serving certain items on the menu. By the time Wednesday, March 25 rolled around, Niederhauser had realized they were selling mostly danishes. She asked herself if danishes, regardless of how good it feels to give someone the joy of a sweet treat that tastes like home, are really essential at this time.

“We really have to put our health first,” she said. “When someone like Rod Powell passes away, it really hits home.”

She also expressed her gratitude and admiration for essential workers in the grocery stores.

“Every time I go in there and see those employees working, I’m like, ‘Wow, they’re so brave.’”

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