MILLBRAE (CBS SF) — A landmark Millbrae restaurant, which has been serving up breakfast every day without interruption since 1959, is the latest business establishment to shutter operations because of restrictions caused by the coronavirus pandemic but the good news is the closure is only temporary.
The Millbrae Pancake House will temporarily suspend all business operations after the close of business on Sunday.
The family-owned restaurant, at 1301 El Camino Real, has been open every day for the last 61 years, with the exception of being closed each year on Christmas Day.
The restaurant has remained open throughout all of 2020, despite the challenges faced by the restaurant industry as a result of the pandemic.
Restaurant management said Friday that its health and safety protocols have resulted in zero incidents of COVID-19 at the establishment.
The restaurant is designed to operate at full capacity but management said that its attempt to operate it at a reduced capacity proved inadequate.
“It’s heartbreaking,” restaurant co-owner Erin Burke said on Saturday. “We grew up in this business. This is our family, the employees are our family.”
With the temporary closure, 44 employees are being furloughed.
“We’ve been through so much and it’s hard to see this happen but I know it’s what’s gonna be best. They can’t struggle, we can’t struggle — they know what needs to happen,” restaurant employee Maryanne Gughemetti said.
The longest-tenured employee has been there nearly 54 years.
“I feel sad for the owners and the employees. I feel sad for what is going on in our world right now because you have a business like this that wants to put people to work and now they still have to shut down,” breakfast customer Matt Mason told KPIX on Saturday.
The restaurant will reopen in 2021. An exact date was not announced.
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