Without COVID-19 yellow or orange zones, many business owners can breathe a sigh of relief, including Shelly Skripnichuk, who owns Danzers.

The restaurant has been a Syracuse staple for decades, but Skripnichuk closed it after the city was put in an orange zone classification by the state in the fall.

“We were starting to come back," said Skripnichuk. "And in October, we were really seeing some improvement, and then November, boom, we were shut back down again." 

What You Need To Know

  • Danzers Restaurant has been closed since late November
  • The restaurant plans to reopen because indoor dining has returned to Central New York
  • The owner says PPP loans are the only things that have kept her afloat 

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday that New York will lift orange zone and most yellow zone restrictions in parts of the state.

Skripnichuk spent Wednesday evening scrubbing the floors.

“It’s my afternoon workout,” she said. 

It requires some elbow grease to get the cobwebs off a restaurant that’s been closed for two months.

“Its been very tough," said Skripnichuk. "It’s been extremely difficult to sit and watch and wonder, 'am I going to be able to pay for things?' I'm going to go put the pieces together. You just got to stay positive and keep going forward.”

PPP loans have helped her survive, said Skripnichuk, so she’s ready to welcome back customers to the bar.

"I was going 'yahoo, we get to open back up,'" Skripnichuk said while laughing. "Hopefully, people won’t be afraid. I think with the vaccine coming, people will start to move around a little bit more. I’d love to get things back going and be successful.”

Getting things going again isn’t as easy as just turning the lights on. Skripnichuk showed her empty walk-in cooler. She has to refill it and prep some menu favorites as she prepares to reopen.

Danzers will reopen in the next two weeks, Skripnichuk said.