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'It's like losing a part of your family' | Charlotte restaurant forced to close after 30 years

Bonnie Warford and her sister, Tricia Maddrey, opened Carpe Diem one of Charlotte's first fine dining restaurants 30 years ago.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — More locally owned businesses in Charlotte are closing because of the coronavirus pandemic, including a restaurant that first opened in charlotte 30 years ago.

“It’s very startling, I mean it's like losing a part of your family,” said Bonnie Warford 

Warford and her sister, Tricia Maddrey, opened Carpe Diem one of Charlotte's first fine dining restaurants 30 years ago.

 They closed in marchlike everyone else.

 “When we first closed it didn’t even enter our mind that we wouldn’t be reopening,” Warford said. 

But they don’t have outdoor seating and at 50 percent capacity, the numbers just didn’t add up.

“We have tenacity we just felt like it was gonna be a losing battle,” Warford said. 

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In recent weeks both Summit Room and Queen City Q, two more locally-owned restaurants also announced they were closed for good.

“It's pretty gut-wrenching," said Josie Lucacik, who is the owner of Sweet Spot Studio.

“It was pretty much a dream come true,” Lucacik said. 

 She just did the math at her place too, realizing the PPP loan wasn’t enough.

“It covered 3 weeks of payroll when it was supposed to cover 8,” Lucacik said.

She’s closing her doors, for now, hoping she can figure out a way to re-open in the fall. 

And the owners at Carpe Diem are pivoting too. They’re moving some of that menu over to the grab and go place they own, Earl’s Grocery.

“We’re excited about it. We’re sad but we’re excited about change to have employees from carpe diem working at Earl's too. Hopefully, a sense of family will carry through," Warford said. 

Earl’s will re-open in the next few weeks. 

Restaurant insiders worry we could see more closures coming in the next few months.

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