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Restaurants sell holiday meals before indoor dining ban in El Paso County

thanksgiving turkeys in smoker

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) - Many restaurants across Colorado Springs offered holiday meals and were booked solid on reservations this Thanksgiving, as they gear up for Level Red COVID-19 restrictions going in place Friday night.

Front Range BBQ in Old Colorado City has been serving Thanksgiving dinner for 20 years, but owner Brian Fortinberry says this year struck an emotional cord for him.

"To be here and see our regulars coming in and getting their turkeys to go, it warms the heart and keeps us going another day," Fortinberry told KRDO.

Front Range BBQ will continue takeout, delivery, and curbside pickup for the time being, like many local restaurants.

Restaurants are also allowed to do outdoor dining during level red.

Others have already decided to close their doors for now, saying the loss of dine-in services just hits too hard.

While Fortinberry isn't so worried about whether his business will last, he's asking for more aid from the local and federal government to cushion the blow these restrictions are having on people working in the service industry -- including his own employees -- and small other business owners.

"I've had several sleepless nights recently, trying to figure out how we're going to keep as many people as possible, and it's just not possible," he told us. "We've had to lay off over half our staff going into this next shutdown and I'm worried about them, you know? That's my family."

While the wait for additional aid continues, Fortinberry is asking everyone for patience and optimism.

“This is going to pass, try to stay positive and we'll get through this," he said.

Colorado Springs / CovidRecovery / Food / Local News

Julia Donovan

Julia is a reporter for KRDO. Learn more about Julia here.

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