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Restaurants see large return to dining for Easter celebration

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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) – Restaurants looked different this Easter compared to a year ago. Instead of being closed due to the pandemic, many businesses were open and offering holiday brunch, which seemed to fill up quickly.

When asking local restaurant owners what the biggest difference between this Easter and last Easter is, they say it is the people.

“We had people in here today this year versus last year, we were actually closed for Easter. Staff’s very encouraged this year and was really excited,” said Michael Abay, owner of Lola’s Bistro.

“This year we’re actually able to have people in the restaurant. So a huge difference, we actually have noise in the restaurant this year,” said Ben Arnold, owner of Avi Seabar & Chophouse.

This time last year, Avi Seabar & Chophouse was selling boxed meals to families, but says this Easter feels more like normal.

“I did meals boxed by one, two, three. In the restaurant, if you look around, it’s a whole lot of big tables, we had a 20 top, an 18, a 13, a bunch of nines, tens, elevens, twelves. So this is back to the way things used to be, Easter before COVID; families getting together, large groups of people getting together,” said Arnold.

Abay says he also saw a high demand for his brunch services this Easter at Lola’s Bistro.

“A lot of people made reservations like a week, two weeks ahead and we ended up being booked last night, completely booked and people still called,” said Abay. “Last minute, day before, even this morning, calling to see if they can get reservations.”

“It’s nice to be coming back, we can feel it every single day,” said Arnold.

Arnold says this Easter Sunday, he’s served families who are gathering as a group for the first time in over a year.

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