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Heard On Sundial: The Florida Keys Shutdown, Restaurants Close Their Doors

On this Monday, March 30, episode of Sundial:

Key West Mayor Teri Johnston

The Florida Keys have closed hotels, vacation rentals, some beaches and parks because of COVID-19. 

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Among the measures implemented to restrict travel across South Florida, the Keys have also instituted a new checkpoint on U.S. 1, and no visitors are allowed in. 

“We have a very short window of time to do the right thing and give our health professionals what they need,” says Mayor of Key West Teri Johnston. "I get asked when is the endpoint? And there is no answer."

Mayor Johnston joined host Luis Hernandez on Sundial to talk about how this coronavirus is affecting a place that relies much on tourism for the economy.

Restaurants surviving the global pandemic

The impact of the coronavirus crisis is being felt hard in the food industry. 

“When you struggle with money one of the first things you cut is going out to eat,” says Solange Rousselot, restaurant owner of Patagonia Steak House in Miami.

COVID-19 forced Rousselot and many other restaurant owners to close their businesses. WLRN has heard from restaurant owners and employees about shifting operations to try to stay open. They’re forcing employees to wear protective gear for food delivery. Other restaurants have had to lay off staff to continue operations. 

On today's WLRN Sundial program, we gathered a group of restaurant owners and managers that made difficult decisions to continue to operate. Guests: Matt Kusher, owner of Kush Hospitality, which includes 5 different restaurants and delis across Miami-Dade County; Sarah Tafu, owner of Sarahlú Confections in Miami Shores; and Alex Kuk, owner of Temple Street Eatery in Fort Lauderdale.

If you want to ask the WLRN Sundial a question about anything coronavirus related, send us an email at sundial@wlrnnews.org, message us on Facebook or tweet at us

WLRN producer Chris Remington and Sherrilyn Cabrera helped in the production of this episode.