WINTER PARK, Fla. - Monday marks a huge and important step forward across Florida: for the first time in weeks, you can now go to a restaurant and enjoy a meal, and a local restaurant is getting even more good news.
"I thought we had it. I thought we didn’t have it, and now I know we have it."
It's been a rollercoaster couple of weeks for Pannullo's Italian Restaurant in Winter Park and its owner Michael Schwartz. His first loan application through the Payment Protection Program was denied.
When we first spoke to him then "I think we were more pessimistic originally, yeah pessimistic." But they tried again anwyay. "
"We were having better communication with the smaller banks and were able to check on the status of the loan, which is comforting. Not to know is not comforting," said Schwartz.
Those smaller banks worked out. Pannullo's received more than $100,000 that wil be forgiven as long as they use it appropriately.
"I think it’s awesome, supporting the local community, supporting all the workers that work here. I’m glad they really got it. It’s not just the big guys. It’s the little guys too," said customer Jonathan Hallett.
The restaurant brought back four cooks and five servers to handle all their reservations as dine-in service reopened.
"It was the greatest feeling to see my team, my family here, that’s number one. We’re busy outside right now, and have many reservations for tonight. So yeah it’s wonderful. Back home. Feeling like I’m back home."
Schwartz expects to be at 90% capacity Sunday for Mother's Day at Winter Park opens up Park Avenue for more seating for restaurants like his.