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Weather washes out beachfront businesses looking to rebound from pandemic

Soggy Monday hurts foot traffic
Mamma Mia's Pizza in Lake Worth Beach
Posted at 4:22 PM, May 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-25 18:19:06-04

LAKE WORTH BEACH, Fla. — The wet weather washed away sales for many businesses hoping to bounce back.

They were banking on a busy Memorial Day but not many people ventured outside with the heavy rain hitting South Florida, which made it more challenging for businesses to cash in this holiday.

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"Mother Nature rules, so we've been a little slower than expected," said Anthony Vultaggio of Mamma Mia's Pizza in Lake Worth Beach.

The restaurant was dealt a one-two punch. It was closed for eight weeks with the pandemic. Now, it is contending with heavy rain on a usually big weekend for business.

"We've taken probably for yearly sales 35 to 40 percent loss, because those eight weeks are really important, then this weekend, but you can't ever really get it back. You just take the loss and move on," said Vultaggio.

At Kilwins Chocolates next door, fresh almond clusters were being made but only a few customers came in to buy them Monday.

"It's really unfortunate because we need more business. Quarantine is over, and we're still not getting any customers at the moment," said Bettina Colciago of Kilwins.

In Jupiter, Guanabanas was also hoping to make up lost revenue from the COVID-19 crisis.

They said their sales were strong Friday and Saturday.

"With the current circumstances we're in I think a lot of people are excited just to get out of their house and we're here to provide a good time," said James Miele of Guanabanas restaurant.

Guanabanas has closed tables that aren't covered. Still, the outdoor restaurant is thankful to be back open and made the best of a soggy situation on Monday.

"I think we did a pretty good job with the hand we were dealt,” said Miele.

With many people still skeptical about eating out, these businesses are still focusing on takeout and delivery to make up some of those lost sales, and they are hoping for much better weather on the Fourth of July.