"(It took) a lot of prep work, rehiring, retraining. There's some new people, but we've very excited," said SO-CA Owner Sean Degnan.
The last year and a month have been trying for Degnan. The spot was one of, if not the first restaurant to close in the Triangle after a patron tested positive last March for COVID-19.
Degnan tried everything from groceries, to to-go orders and delivery during the stay-at-home order. He later brought in heaters to serve folks outdoors before throwing in the towel and shuttering doors.
"When we headed into the cold months, things were so bad," said Degnan.
And like most things during the season of spring, there's been a reemergence. The restaurant's reopening as many spots are experiencing a boom in business. The weather's been nice and more people are vaccinated.
A restart button being push at @socaraleigh. The restaurant has been closed for months and is reopening tonight. The Village District spot is one of, if not the first Triangle restaurants impacted by COVID after a patron tested positive last March. #ABC11 pic.twitter.com/DZxm1BgWZS— Elaina Athans (@EAABC11) April 14, 2021
Someplace, such as Taverna Agora, says recent sales are pre-pandemic levels.
"There's a palpable level of demand where people want to get back out. People haven't seen their families, some people in a year," said Degnan.
With the appetite for dining out back, SO-CA is hoping to help folks celebrate moments missed during the pandemic.
"All of the events from last year, all the anniversaries, all the birthdays, all the holidays that were missed -- it's good to be a part of it," said Degnan.