Culinary life

Jezza Vargas and Christopher Kellogg, co-owners of Flavors of the Philippines, stand in the dining room of their restaurant at 568 Bradley St. in Watertown. Kara Dry/Watertown Daily Times

Since it began nearly two years ago, the novel coronavirus pandemic has hit the restaurant industry particularly hard.

Social distancing requirements forced many restaurants to close or limit their customer capacity in the early going of the health care crisis last year. Many establishments were unable to survive and shut their doors permanently; others managed to stay open despite the challenges.

“According to the National Restaurant Association, industry sales were down $240 billion in 2020 from an expected $899 billion, which is comparable to 2019’s $863 billion in sales,” an article published Sept. 14 by PBS reported. “The pressure on businesses to upend longstanding practices has given rise to new restaurant concepts, technologies and organizational structures, hoping to find resilient methods in unpredictable times.”

It’s good news, then, that three restaurants recently opened in Watertown or relocated. This is a sign that people believe the economic climate can support these new enterprises.

“A popular juice bar has relocated; a restaurant with Filipino food has landed in the city; and a family with a rich history in the local food industry has reopened a restaurant that closed at the start of pandemic. With the three new restaurants, the city’s food scene continues to change,” according to a story published Dec. 28 by the Watertown Daily Times.

The Atman Juice Bar moved Dec. 5 from the Lincoln Building to an apartment building on Newell Street. Flavors of the Philippines opened Dec. 1 on Bradley Street. And Craft836 Canteen is now operating at the site on Coffeen Street were Sboro’s Restaurant & Chop House once stood.

We’re pleased to see the restaurant industry in Watertown springing back to life. We encourage readers to support these businesses as they benefit the local economy and enhance our culture.

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1


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