Covid-19 claims another business casualty as Olive Tree restaurant in Anaheim closes

Covid-19 claims another business casualty; the popular restaurant Olive Tree in Anaheim is forced to close.
ANAHEIM (KABC) -- Olive Tree restaurant in Anaheim has been a staple in the community for years. When they were forced to close during Ramadan- their busiest time of the year- they knew it would be tough. But now owner Alan Abdo has had to make the even tougher decision to close for good.

"It's really, really hard. I mean, it's really hard. But we have to do it," said Abdo.

He says they' are a casualty of the coronavirus... losing money every month with no light at the end of the tunnel.

'Especially when you hear that they're gonna shut us down again, or they might shut us down completely for a while, there's no hope," said Abdo.

We talked to him during Ramadan - usually his most profitable month of the year. Pickup orders didn't do well, and business remained slow, even when they were given the green light to reopen their dining room. When he had an opportunity to get out of his lease, he decided closing was the best option.

"I don't sleep at night. I wake up two, three times a night,' said Abdo. "My wife is concerned about me and it's a hard decision to come to, but when you put it down on paper and you look at it, the numbers tell you run."

Abdo believes this is the tip of the iceberg for his industry. Back in March when he was thinking of expanding, he says there were 60 restaurant spaces in Orange County for lease or sale. Now, he says it's jumped to a list of about 250.

'I'm making a power play for me. I have a family. I have kids, I have a wife that's pregnant. She's due in October, and I worry about them. And I can't keep losing money when I have a family that I'm building," said Abdo.

Still, he's going to miss the regulars, some who have been coming since his dad started the family business years ago.

"I'm taking this opportunity to raise my hands up and say I surrender and maybe one day we'll be back,' said Abdo.
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