big Burrito Group Temporarily Closes Its Specialty Restaurants

The six restaurants that are now closed are considered some of the best and well-known in the city.
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ALTA VIA RESTAURANT | PHOTOS BY LAURA PETRILLA

Over the weekend, big Burrito Group closed its specialty restaurants after the state limited occupancy of indoor dining to 25% of capacity to slow the spread of COVID-19. The restaurants are Alta Via, Casbah, Eleven Contemporary Kitchen, Kaya, Soba and Umi. Mad Mex is not affected. At least one of the restaurants, Eleven, had not reopened when Allegheny County entered the “green” phase on June 5.

big Burrito President Bill Fuller says that at 25% capacity, keeping the restaurants open was not sustainable.

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BILL FULLER

“With the developing circumstances and our commitment to following all safety guidelines and COVID-related restrictions, we have concluded that the big Burrito Restaurant Group Specialty Restaurants … are not viable under current business conditions,” he said in a statement. “We cannot operate at a limited occupancy of 25%, which has been put in place for the indefinite future.”

For now, big Burrito’s Mad Mex restaurants will remain open.

“The places where we have access to the outdoors and where we have some ongoing and substantial take-out and where we had a little bit of indoor might possibly get to a point where we might break even,” Fuller told the Pittsburgh Business Times.

Fuller won’t predict when the restaurants may reopen given the unpredictable nature of the pandemic.

“It remains our truest goal and most fundamental challenge as an organization to survive this pandemic by maintaining a viable business consistent with our paramount concern for the health and safety of our employees, our guests and the community,” Fuller says. “We very much hope to be able to re-open and operate all locations again. We earnestly thank our patrons for their support and look forward to welcoming them back.”

Categories: PGHeats, The 412