Popular Restaurant ‘The China Dine-ah’ To Close Permanently
A little way I like to spoil myself when I have to drive to southern Maine, is to take Route 202 down to Augusta before I get on the highway. Sure it takes a little longer, but it's such a great drive. Rolling hills, decent speed limits, and awesome views. It's well worth the extra 15 minutes it might add onto the total travel time.
Admittedly, every time I'd drive by the China Dine-ah, I'd always think to myself how I needed to stop someday and have a quick bite on my way through. There was always a ton of cars in the parking lot, and it seemed like the place to be. But like a lot of businesses right now, they won't reopen since their shut down in March.
Around the state, COVID-19 has been wreaking havoc on just about every type of business. Restaurants, small retail stores, salons... all being affected in some way by the quarantine rules. Even now, as the state is take calculated steps to open back up, some businesses just won't be able to recover.
Owner Lisa Wardwell recently told WABI - TV5 that she's about six figures deep in lost revenue at this point. And with the rules placed on incoming tourists, which her restaurant depends on very much, she didn't see any light at the end of the tunnel and had to make some tough choices. She said this to WABI:
...Without the tourists, not only do I not have any money in the bank for winter, but now I don't have any operating money for the summer..... I just felt like I let the whole town down.
She still has her other restaurant, so if you have gift certificates from the China Dine-ah, she will be happy to honor those at Lisa's Restaurant in Augusta. But still, having been in the restaurant game myself, I know how hard it can be to start weighing debt vs. income and having to make decisions surrounding it.
While I can understand her sentiment about feeling like she let the town down, I guarantee the town doesn't feel that way. No one likes to see anyone suffer. And that's what the coronavirus has done the most. Cause suffering. And not always with sickness, as we see here.
But good luck to Lisa and her crew, and honestly, to the rest of Maine, as we get through all this. Stay positive and look forward. Even this too, shall pass.