KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV)— It’s been a roller coaster for the restaurant industry the last two years. More than 100 bars and restaurants closed their doors due to the pandemic in the Kansas City metro.

For those that survived, the 2022 restaurant week is more welcome than ever.

Aixois French Bistro is a Brookside staple celebrating 20 years of business. Chef and owner Emmanual Langlade says they’ve been a part of every restaurant week.

“It helps us to be busy, not to cry too much because the days are slow,” Langlade joked.

January is always a slow time for business, but the last two Januarys have been especially rough due to COVID-19.

“It’s not back to normal. It’s just we’re back in business,” Langlade said.

The heated patio was added back in 2020 and is there to stay. So are the spaced tables indoors from when there were mandates about capacity.

“It’s easier for the kitchen, it’s easier for servers, it’s safer for customers,” he said.

Some customers are still nervous about eating out.

“In the last year, we’ve had some highs where people’s confidence was up and we were seeing good crowds but there’s still a lot of unease and uncertainty. Some people just aren’t quite ready to get back to normal. So hopefully 2022 is the year,” Travis Moore said.

Moor is an owner of Torn Label Public House, a brewery that opened a restaurant inside last year.

“The plans started before everything happened so we figured we were already in too deep,” he said.

The brewery struggled during the pandemic shut downs and mandates.

“A lot of the beer we make goes out to bars and restaurants so that was half of our business going away overnight. It’s been a struggle,” Moore said.

Moore hopes restaurant week can help this new food part of their business get the boost it needs to survive for years to come.

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