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Hot Springs restaurant survives COVID and expands

Published: Jul. 22, 2021 at 6:42 PM EDT
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HOT SPRINGS, Va. (WDBJ) - When COVID closed restaurants last year, Les Cochons D’Or chef and co-owner Kyle Krieger had to adapt.

“We shut down for one day, and then made a decision that we were going to open up and do a casual American restaurant for takeout,” he said, “just because we needed to change with the times.”

But now he’s not only coming back; he’s expanding.

The old pharmacy next door is about to become a new breakfast and lunch place, expanding the hours of Les Cochons D’Or’s current dinner-only service, which might seem a little crazy considering everyone’s having trouble getting help now.

“It’s always a challenge to find people that want to work with you and see the vision the same you do,” Krieger said. “More so now. I don’t think I know anybody that’s fully staffed these days.”

But he’s held onto people like Ranger Clarkson, who has been working here for four years, since he was in high school.

“Yeah, we did everything we could to have work for people,” Krieger said. “You know, the bank account got pretty thin.”

Which means, even with the expansion, he’s looking at things a little more short-term now.

“Five years ago, when you thought you’re going to have a restaurant, and it’s going to be this way and we’re going to do this until we pay off all our debts and hopefully have a little bit at the end,” he said. “Now, it’s - we look a year ahead maybe, maybe two.”

A year that he hopes is all about filling another space with happy diners.

“This is an opportunity,” Krieger said. “We’re going to grab ahold of it and hopefully run with it.”

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