Steve de Beer, owner of the Stanley on Bain building which houses Asada/Fushin, Bourbon and CJ’s on Stanley, among others, said it was not all doom and gloom and he saw the situation as the start of a different era. “Change comes with a lot of uncertainty and fear, but our minds remain open to new possibilities.
“We are open to exploring new options that may transform and extend this place to businesses that are not necessarily restaurants,” De Beer said.
Jack Goodwin, who owns the building that houses Two Olives, said: “The impact of the virus has been bad on both restaurants and landlords because we are all losing a lot of income.
“It’s unlikely the restaurant industry will survive this, especially in Port Elizabeth, but there are possibilities for Stanley Street to accommodate other small businesses.”
Goodwin said the exit of the restaurants could result in the street losing the vibrancy for which it had become known.
“It wasn’t exactly the safest space to hang around before it became a restaurant hub, and I think it might return to that,” he said.
Salt restaurant owner Etienne Barkhuysen said he had halted operations but would reopen when restrictions were more relaxed.
At the moment Salt and St James, his other restaurant in Walmer, were completely closed, with the option of selling takeaways not attractive, he said.