August 6, 2020
Saluti miei Amici e Ledeli Patroni, (Greetings my Friends and Loyal Patrons)
I sincerely hope that you and your families are safe, well, and coping as best as possible during this pandemic. These are indeed challenging times unlike anything I’ve encountered in my lifetime.
It is hard to believe that 5 months ago, our Governor issued executive order #53 in response to the COVID 19 Pandemic resulting in the closure of all restaurant business as we had traditionally known it. During this time, I’ve ridden the business roller coaster of completely closing, opening for take out dinner only, offering limited socially distanced indoor seating and offering lunch once again. I find it difficult to put into words the incredible sense of responsibility I feel to do the right things at this time.
I appreciate more than you can imagine the loyal following of so many customers and I obviously want to offer you a unique Italian dining experience in a safe and healthy environment. I am deeply committed to the safety and well-being of my team as well.
The continued rise in the number of positive COVID cases in our area is very concerning to me. In all honesty, I must say that I struggle with what is the right thing to do. I’ve been a successful businessman for over 40 years and have dealt with many different challenges along the way; however, the pandemic is unprecedented in that it has impacted the health and safety of so many people and continues to put so many at risk.
After much deliberation, evaluation of current data from the Virginia Department of Health, and a lot of soul searching, I have made the decision to close Carmela’s at The Loft until such time I can feel much more confident than I do now that I can serve my patrons in a safe and healthy environment. I feel the risk is just too great right now and I do not want to place you or a member of my team in harm’s way.
Hopefully you will respect my decision and be confident that we will be back as soon as the timing is right. I can assure you the same authentic, made in-house Italian food will await you at Carmela’s. Please know how very much I appreciate you and your support. This is not goodbye; rather, see you soon! Stay safe and stay well.
Ralph Palmisano, Owner
Carmela’s at The Loft
21771 Timberlake Road
Lynchburg, VA 24502