Rosenberg's Bagels forced to close locations due to COVID-19 outbreaks creating a lack of staffing

Locations expected to reopen at some capacity by Friday
Rosenberg's Bagels
Posted at 4:55 PM, Jan 13, 2022

DENVER — For Rosenberg’s Bagels Boulder location, the work continues — something the other two locations in Five Points and the Stanley Marketplace weren’t able to fully do after a COVID-19 outbreak among employees.

Rosenberg’s Boulder location reopened on Tuesday for takeout and delivery only. It is something the other two stores might have to do when they reopen — whenever that happens.

"It really is going to be a day-to-day thing where if we have three call-outs, then we might have to close the dining room down or we might have to go to takeout only. Or we might have to reduce our menus," said Joshua Pollack, the owner of Bridge and Tunnel Restaurant Group.

Denver7 couldn’t speak with Pollack in person because he also recently tested positive for COVID-19 along with his team. BusinessDen first reported on how the COVID outbreaks were threatening the business.

"It ran through all of my management staff. It's hard to run a restaurant without, you know, a line cook that you really need or a baker. But it's nearly impossible to do without a manager and someone to fill in that role," said Pollack.

Staffing shortages are only one of the challenges his company is facing.

"We need help from the government with testing and PPE. We need help from the government with finances. And really, what we need from the general public is just a little bit of understanding and compassion," said Pollack.

Pollack says the testing backlog makes it harder for employees to return quickly and that the requirement to pay 48 hours of sick time this year also puts a strain on the business.

"I'm a big fan of Jared Polis and so I understand why this this act was put together: to give people sick pay leave. But I don't think he really took into account that it can happen all at once for a business with a closure," said Pollack.

Regular customers say it would be a shame to see the popular bagel shop close down.

"If they have to continue like this, I guess it would be good for the neighborhood just for people to continue stopping by and support them," said Jeff Sloan.

Despite the challenges, Pollack has no plans of closing any locations but it’s a new reality he can’t ignore.

"This is the first time that I've had those thoughts and I've had those talks of the what ifs," said Pollack.