SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - The owner of Waypoint Public in North Park has found a way to help his business rebound from the Coronavirus Pandemic, while also assisting other businesses to do the same.
John Pani invited Dang Brothers Pizza to set up a shop inside his restaurant.
"I've got a 5,000 square foot restaurant," says Pani. "Doing what we were doing at Waypoint, we could have done that in a 500 square foot restaurant."
Pani closed Waypoint in mid-March before County Health Officials imposed a stay at home order. During the closure, he worried about his 130 employees and wanted to find a way to put them back to work.
Pani decided to reopen with a limited menu of take-out items that his chefs could prepare.
Then in June, he asked a friend who runs Dang Brothers to join him.
"They're mostly catering and special events. They don't have a brick and mortar shop," Pani says. "I told him, 'Hey man, come set your tent up.' So we craned in a little pizza oven onto our patio and got going."
Pani says the response has been fantastic. Now he wants to invite other vendors to set up in his restaurant. He thinks it could create a street-market style environment that will give people a reason to come back to North Park.
"We have to find a new normal," Pani says. "I don't think we're going to be packing in restaurants any time soon. At least, I personally hope we aren't...
"So we have to find a way to hopefully keep businesses alive and still provide the interaction and the hospitality and the food and beverage that people want and need. And we have to do it in a way that is appropriate given the times."