DC restaurant feels the impact of inauguration road closures on top of the pandemic

Pisco Y Nazca is feeling the impact of the inauguration road closures in D.C. (Courtesy Pisco Y Nazca)

A restaurant in D.C. trying to survive the pandemic is seeing a major loss of customers from road closures for the inauguration.

With the indoor dining ban extended in D.C. due to rising case numbers, Pisco Y Nazca, a Peruvian restaurant downtown was struggling but had some loyal customers willing to bundle up and eat outside.

But that’s now changed since significant road closures for the inauguration started last week.

“There’s a Humvee parked in an alley, across the street from the restaurant, you know, with, I believe armed National guardsmen standing in front of it right now as we speak,” said Patrick Morey, senior director of operations for the restaurant.

Morey says at the location, about a half mile from the White House on L Street, in person traffic has basically stopped.

“Even if they wanted to join us, it would be a tremendous amount of trouble for them to get to us,” he said. “There’s simply no one in the area. Vehicle traffic is nonexistent and pedestrian traffic has been greatly limited.”

The restaurant has electric heaters for outside dining and Morey said he’s looking forward to welcoming people back after inauguration restrictions are lifted on Thursday.

He wants people to know they’re open but he’s hopeful things change soon and the city opens indoor dining and bar service when it’s safe.

“We are happily awaiting any guest that can make it,” he said.

Valerie Bonk

Valerie Bonk started working at WTOP in 2016 and has lived in Howard County, Maryland, her entire life. She's thrilled to be a reporter for WTOP telling stories on air. She works as both a television and radio reporter in the Maryland and D.C. areas. 

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