Facing staff shortages and rising prices due to pandemic, century-old Savoy Restaurant in Rome temporarily closes

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The Savoy Restaurant in Rome announced Thursday, Jan. 20, 2022, that it would be temporarily closing.
The Savoy Restaurant in Rome announced Thursday, Jan. 20, 2022, that it would be temporarily closing.

The Savoy Restaurant in Rome has temporarily closed until further notice, its owners announced on its Facebook page Thursday evening.

Co-owner Orrie Destito said Friday the temporary closure came out of labor shortages and rising costs of ingredients spurred on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

"You're trying to operate a business during the pandemic, this brings up all sorts of challenges," he said, later adding, "I don't think it's fair just to keep jacking up costs to the consumer."

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The family-owned restaurant first opened in 1908, and currently has about 20 employees. Like many restaurants, it closed during the first wave of the pandemic. But while restaurants received some federal aid last year, this year they are dealing with the impacts of COVID-19 without any aid, Destito said.

"This is a temporary situation driven by the pandemic," he said. "And even though we've been in business 114 years and survived a couple of world wars, this is our first pandemic."

A reopening date is uncertain at this time, with the decision hinging on when the restaurant will no longer be restricted by the pandemic, Destito said.

Destito said the restaurant was lucky to have the support of Rome residents over the years.

"I think this is relative to all businesses, and my message is for people to support their local restaurants and businesses," Destito said. "Rome has a lot of good restaurants and so does Utica."

Patrons can submit questions or concerns about the restaurant at thesavoyrestaurant.com.

H. Rose Schneider covers public safety, breaking and trending news for the Observer-Dispatch. Email Rose at hschneider@gannett.com.

This article originally appeared on Observer-Dispatch: Century-old Savoy Restaurant in Rome temporarily closes