JACKSON COUNTY, MO (KCTV) -- For months the doors at Port Fonda in Westport have been locked because of the pandemic, but now new management has come through and they are looking to open the doors and find new employees. 

“I believe that the accolades that this place did get were well earned and that the name deserves a chance to prove itself again,” says Erin McZee the Operations Director of Culinary Virtue Restaurant Collective.

While the restaurant and most of the food will remain the same, the staff will be very different, as they are now looking for new employees, through weekly job fairs on Friday from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. at the restaurant.

This weekend pandemic related unemployment benefits will be coming to an end earlier than other states.

It was a decision made by Missouri Gov. Mike Parson, in hopes it would get people back to work.

“I don’t know that I think that is the biggest factor, it’s definitely a factor so I think that has helped us get a few more applications,” says McZee.

McZee is no stranger to the food industry. Their company runs three other popular restaurants in Westport, including Beer Kitchen, Mickey’s Hideaway and Char Bar.

After closing each of their establishments because of COVID, they laid off all their employees, which McZee says about 80 percent came back.

As the number of people going out continues to go up, they’re finding themselves not only looking for employees for their new spot.

“We are so busy right now and the demand is so high right now that that amount of people, we had beforehand isn’t enough,” says McZee.

The company is looking to fill all types of positions for all their restaurants, with their hopes of opening Port Fonda sometime in July.

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