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Without Cheese Or Waiters, it Was Time to Close

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November 7, 2021

By Barrett Seaman —

The Hudson Independent presents “The Supply Chain Crisis Isn’t Just Global; It’s Local,” a series describing how international manufacturing and shipping woes affect everyday life in the rivertowns. Read on for the second installment. (Read the first installment about Flying Fingers Yarn Shop here.)

Case #2: Piccola Trattoria

As much as any small business, local restaurants found themselves hanging on by a thread during the worst of the pandemic. Many survived by filling “grab-and-go” take-out orders. Others kept their staffs busy providing meals for food-insecure families in the area.

Outdoor service in the warmer months got a boost in those villages that allowed eateries to rent out parking spaces in front of their establishments and fill them with tables. That was particularly helpful for Sergio Pennachio, whose tiny Dobbs Ferry storefront, Piccola Trattoria, had room inside for only 30 diners under COVID protocols. By renting three parking spaces along Cedar Street, Pennachio was able to double that.

It wasn’t for lack of customers that led Pennachio to announce that he is shuttering Piccola Trattoria at the close of business this Saturday, Nov. 13. He was exhausted from working the kitchen, often by himself. He was no longer able to find and keep waitstaff — and he could no longer rely on the delivery of food items he needed. “There’s a shortage of dairy products — cheese in particular,” says Pennachio. “Thank God I have tomato sauce,” he adds with a chuckle. “My distributors don’t have drivers for their delivery trucks.”

His waitstaff woes are in line with every other restaurant these days. “I can’t find people who are willing to work — even part-time,” he confesses. “They come in and work a shift or two and never come back, even for their paycheck.”

With his landlord poised to commence major renovations just as the cold months arrive, Pennachio decided to opt out…for now. “It seemed like the right time to close,” he said.

The plan is to re-open in the renovated space. “If all goes well,” he says, “the project will take 18 months.” By then, with any luck, there will be drivers for delivery trucks and waitstaff to provide good service.

If the global supply chain crisis affects your local business, please contact The Hudson Independent.


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