Colorado restaurants face tough decisions

Last Updated by Jennifer Castor on

Our daily lives have been disrupted beyond imagination, and many of us are faced with crucial choices. For countless local business owners, decisions they make have a broad reach; the financial and health impact to staff, family and the community are all part of the decision process. 

Jennifer Castor -- Executive Producer of Arts for Rocky Mountain Public Media, parent of Rocky Mountain PBS and KUVO -- has family ties to a Longmont pizzeria.  Her brother James Ross and his wife, Amy, are the co-owners of Rosalee’s Pizzeria at 461 Main St.

This week, James Ross made the decision to voluntarily close for two weeks, March 24 through April 6, encouraging his staff and customers to stay home. 

"We are insanely proud to be a part of this community," the Rosses posted on the pizzeria's website to explain the decision. "The outpouring of support we have received this past week is nothing short of amazing.  We do feel that as important as pizza pies may be to life as we know it, the most important decision we can make is for our families. Their safety is what matters most."

This closure is in place of the restaurant's traditional two-week summer closure in July, during the annual RockyGrass music festival in nearby Lyons. (As of March 27, Planet Bluegrass, the organizer of RockyGrass, indicated that the festival would be held as scheduled, July 24-26, subject to change later.)

The Rosses hope that the pizzeria will be busier come July than it would be now if it had stayed open.

James Ross took time to talk about how the COVID-19 crisis is impacting his employees, community and his own family. He brings us a personal glimpse into the struggles shared by so many Coloradans. 

He discusses the need to balance “doing his part” for the community while keeping the business he and his wife have put their hearts and souls into for five-plus years open and financially viable.

Every decision has a consequence.  How will it all play out? Here’s James Ross, in his own words.

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Insight with John Ferrugia is in-depth, independent and incisive. John and a team of investigative journalists present thoroughly researched stories of significance to Colorado.