O'Dowd's Gastrobar closes temporarily due to COVID-19 restrictions

Posted at 7:11 PM, Dec 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-07 20:11:05-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo.  — O'Dowd's Gastrobar on the Country Club Plaza is closed until the spring.

The business put a sign on the front of its door notifying customers. The sign reads:

"Due to COVID-19 restrictions, O'Dowd's is temporarily closed. Please ask your senator and representative to pass another round of PPP loans and extended unemployment benefits to help the thousands of businesses and staff irreparably harmed due to no fault of their own. We plan to re-open in the Spring. We wish all our friends a happy and safe holiday season."

Stephen Molloy, operating manager at Gram and Dun, said he's sadly not surprised to hear about the restaurant's closure due to the latest restrictions put in place by Mayor Quinton Lucas, which require bars and restaurants to close at 10 p.m.

"If they can't operate between 10 p.m. and 1 a.m., that's a large bulk of their income," Molloy said.

Molloy said he's disheartened by the closure, even if it is temporary.

"We're saddened every time we see it because not only do we frequent these establishments, we all know each other, there's a fraternity among us," Molloy said.

In July, the Small Business Association released a list of businesses that received Paycheck Protection Program money. O'Dowd's received between $150,000 and $300,000, according to the SBA.

Molloy said he feels for the staff as they search for new employment.

"I mean there's a lot of bartenders and servers and back of the house staff that, you know, they don't have a lot of options," Molloy said. "The restaurant industry right now is really hard."

Across the street from O'Dowd's, "store closing" signs plaster the windows of Pin Stripes, a longtime men's apparel store.

Co-owner Jack Ring said his business has taken a huge hit since the pandemic.

"It's just difficult to keep things going for cash flow and everything else at this point, there's just no people coming in buying anything," Ring said.

Ring said he and his business partner were planning on retiring anyway, but it's still difficult to watch his business fade away. As he works to sell every last clothing item and piece of furniture, he has a reminder for community members.

"I think it's important that people know that they have to come to small businesses if they're going to continue to exist," Ring said.