Fresno restaurants prepare for another reopening, for some it's their last-ditch effort

For those that just opened their doors for the first time in 2020, getting momentum has been nearly impossible.
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- It's been a challenging year for local businesses.

But for those that just opened their doors for the first time in 2020, getting momentum has been nearly impossible.

Preparations were underway for the grand reopening of VYXN in northeast Fresno on Thursday night.

The owner, Lewis Everk, said he didn't expect to have to plan three opening days for the restaurant and lounge in 2020. He's hoping this time they will stay open.

The year started with high hopes on opening night at Modernist bar in downtown Fresno.

"We just kept chugging along, and then a couple months later, we got the news that operations had to cease," said bar director, Ryan Metcalf.

COVID-19 restrictions forced the brand new business to pivot to to-go orders, only for weeks before getting the chance to briefly reopen, and then get shut down again.

"We were offering a meal pack that was a compilation of different items that was deemed unfit, so we went back to the drawing board," Metcalf said.

Now that air quality has improved, they are optimistic to premier a 40 person outdoor only operation complete with air conditioners, classic cocktails, new tiki drinks. They're also teaming up with local businesses for fresh food offerings.

"It's easy to not do something just because there's a couple hurdles in front of us doesn't mean we are not going to try to jump over them," Metcalf said.

In Northeast Fresno, VYXN is preparing for their third go-around at a grand opening this year.

"We have no money left. This is it for us. So if this doesn't work, we will be closing our doors," Everk said.

Everk said this is the last-ditch effort to save his business.

"In the last five months, we have only operated about 14 days out of that five months. But yet we still incurred all the expenses and debt of having these operations," he said.

Everk is hoping the community embraces the ten thousand dollar effort to recreate the atmosphere.

"What can we expect? Well, expect everything that we did before, but now it's just on the outside," he said.

Modernist opened their patio for food and drinks on Thursday evening. Friday night will be the big reopening at VYXN.

Customers will see plexiglass added between tables. Dinner starts at 8 p.m., and they'll be open until 2 a.m.
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