‘This happened out of the blue’: COVID-related closure of Legends Grille blindsides workers

Richmond

Owners say 'they couldn't keep the lights on and the staff paid'

RICHMOND, VA. (WRIC) — Legends Grille in Willow Lawn is the latest Richmond business to flame out due to the pandemic.

Owners say they couldn’t stay afloat amid the uncertainty of the COVID-19 crisis. The sudden closure of the restaurant has left a bad taste in the mouths of many, however. Former workers tell 8News the decision blindsided them.

“I’m one of the dedicated workers. So to be one of the dedicated workers and this happened out of the blue, now I have to start all over again,” said a former prep chef at Legends Grille, who did not wish to be identified.

The former employee is one of more than a dozen workers who were left feeling shocked and angered by the message they received from management last Friday, notifying them that they were out of a job.

There will be no re-entry as of today. If you have any belongings in the building, please let me know and we will schedule a time for pick up. It’s a sad day for all.

Thanks,

Mark & Neeti

In a statement to 8News, manager Neeti Bhalla said, in part, business had been down about 65 percent due to the pandemic. Because of this, plans were made to shut down near the end of December. However, she says funds were short, and they couldn’t keep the lights on and the staff paid until then.

Still, some workers worry about how they will be able to survive financially.

“I gotta pay rent, internet, cable, all those bills,” the former employee said. “And on top of that, I have to go out and find another job to pay all those bills.”

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