EL PASO, Texas – Local bar and restaurant Tortuga Sports Lounge closed its doors after eight years in business. The owner told ABC-7 that if it weren't for Covid, he would still be in business.
Owner, Ron Patterson, said that in the last eight months his sales have decreased by 70 percent due to Covid-19 and staffing shortages.
Patterson said that he has not been able to keep his kitchen open for three months due to a lack of staff.
He said with all taxes he needs to pay it's his customers who have to bear the burden.
"All the liquor taxes, the property taxes, everything is going up, and for us to sustain, we have to pass that on to the customers, which means jacking up all the prices," said Patterson.
Patterson said he hasn't been making a profit for eight months to keep the place afloat.
He said he usually sees an increase in sales from October to December, but he did not see that upward trend this year.
Still, he said this would not be the end of Tortuga.
"I will survive, and I will pop up on the westside again," said Patterson. "This is not the end, as a matter of fact, I'm going to take down the sign, and I'm going to put it in my backyard because, you know, I am tortuga."