BATAVIA — Though the Bob Evans restaurant name is off of both the building and off of the free-standing signpost at Bob Evans’ 196 Oak St. location, a notice on the door says the restaurant is temporarily closed,
“... we look forward to reopening as soon as we can,” the notice says.
Robert Fradette, vice president of marketing and communications, said there is no official statement or determination from the company on whether the Batavia location will reopen.
“We’re looking to make an announcement in the next couple of weeks as things are assessed throughout the system. We’re evaluating everything .. there’s no final decision,” he said. “With the development (of the pandemic) in the last few months, as a business, we’re assessing overall business. It’s an ongoing situation for evaluation. We’re not ready to make any statement yet as whether it will be permanently closed.”
Across the city, at 412 E. Main St., Pizza Hut also remains closed temporarily, according to the notice on its door. Pizza Hut is a subsidiary of Yum! Brands. Daily News calls to the media relations number for Yum! Brands for updates on the restaurant’s status were not returned. Calls to Pizza Hut’s public relations number were not returned.
Popular diner Pok-A-Dot, 229 Ellicott St., located in the Business Improvement District (BID) remains closed as well. BID Executive Director Beth Kemp said, “Pok-A-Dot owner has been out of state until this month and is currently finalizing any updates needed to their space. I have no comment on when they anticipate an open date.”
Kemp said she attended an economic development task force meeting Monday which included a representatives of the city, Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC), county Chamber of Commerce and the Batavia Development Corporation (BDC).
The consensus of task force members is that business owners were feeling the weight of the COVID-19 pandemic, but are working through the guidelines.
“Our small business owners have been extremely versatile in managing through the pandemic, are educating themselves on all of New York Forward’s guidelines and safety protocols, and have been implementing those throughout their businesses,” she said.
“I would say most of our small business owners have struggled through this pandemic in one form or another and we are lucky as a Business Improvement District and community to see so many of our amazing businesses able to come out on the other end of this,” Kemp said. “Our business owners are making sure they have the proper safety in place before they are opening their doors. If some are slower to reopen than others, it could simply be their time needed to prepare for the new ways in which their business has to operate now, along with the process of bringing back employees ...
“The BID and all of our county partners at the BDC, GCEDC, Chamber of Commerce, city and county officials, along with some of our financial partners, are collaborating each week on all of the current information coming from the state in order to disseminate that information out to all of our constituents. We are working together to be able to provide much-needed resource materials, education, guidance and any other assistance needed for all of our businesses across the county.”
The BID executive director said she is not aware of any Worker Adjustment Retraining Notification (WARN) notices from the state Department of Labor for any downtown at Batavia businesses. WARN notices are early warnings of closures and layoffs that businesses are required to provide workers, employee representatives, the Department of Labor, and local workforce development boards.
GLOW Workforce Development Board Executive Director Jay Lazarony said if people are laid off, the Genesee County Job Development Bureau at the Career Center is there to help connect them with new job opportunities. Help with filing unemployment insurance claims would also be available. The Job Development Bureau may be reached at (585) 344-2042 or by email at JDB@co.Genesee.ny.us
“We would want to know that the layoff is occurring because we want to get in and assist those employees right away,” he said. “If they’re looking for work right away, we want to supply them with job orders and retraining if it’s necessary.”
More information about Job Development Bureau services may be found at https://www.co.genesee.ny.us/departments/jobdevelopment/index.php.
“We have had constant calls. A majority of them over the months have been on unemployment insurance claims. There have been people calling about resume updating services.”
Lazarony said Job Development Bureau employees back in the office. The office staff used to be at 50 percent capacity, with some employees working remotely.
“They are taking appointments for customers and bringing them into the office for appointments only. The office is not ready to open up to the general public for walk-ins.”