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Checking in: Glo’s Cafe is adjusting to COVID-19 restrictions while giving back to Capitol Hill

(Image: Gabrielle Locke)

Checking in is a new occasional series on CHS as we talk with people from longtime neighborhood businesses, organizations, and more about their experiences during the COVID-19 crisis.

By Gabrielle Locke

“We just had to pivot, just like everyone else,” Julie Reisman, the owner of Glo’s Café, says.

Reisman and her business partner, Steve Frias, bought Glo’s in 2007. Reisman describes owning a small restaurant as having its ups and downs, like any job. “We largely wanted to be in control of our own destiny in the restaurant industry (which is funny given the current world we live in where everything seems a bit out of control),” she says.

Glo’s operations changed from dine-in to take-out only and amidst the pandemic, “We had to make tough calls in order to look out for the best interest of our staff, guests and neighborhood.” However, the circumstances have made the staff stronger. “Recently, we haven’t been flinching, as much at each hit that comes our way,” she said.

Since COVID-19 hit, Glo’s has seen a serious decline in business during the weekdays. However, despite the adjustments Reisman and Frias made to stay afloat there have been some noteworthy positive outcomes.

(Image: Gabrielle Locke)

For one, Glo’s has seen “busier than ever” weekend business, and a new community meal program has been a success. The community meal program allows people to purchase a $10 meal credit to go towards any person in need to receive a warm meal.

There are many people who want to help but don’t carry cash so this is an efficient way for customers to show support to their small businesses and to someone in need.

“We get to see the generosity of others with this program, and put smiles on the faces of people who don’t have a lot to smile about these days,” Reisman said.

Although Reisman had to make the difficult call to lay off half of Glo’s staff, she describes the current team as her “staff-family.” Due to the pandemic, Glo’s employees are making less money and working harder.

“They are the coolest, most caring bunch of people I’ve ever met,” Reisman said. “We have our little community that is tightly sewn together to help support each other through this time.”

Reisman is passionate about continuing to “work hard, stay healthy, offer support and continue looking forward” in order to safely continue to serve the community with delicious food.

She urges Glo’s customers to please leave a tip, purchase merchandise, and a community meal.

Glo’s Café also has a new trick up its sleeve to help the E Olive Way business survive. Glo’s will begin serving tallboys and mimosa kits beginning October 31st.

Glo’s Café is open for take-out and delivery orders daily from 8:00 AM to 2:00 PM. You can purchase a meal for someone in need here.

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Daughter of Darkness
Daughter of Darkness
6 months ago

Viva Glo’s! I love the community meal program idea. I was a long time neighbor, now living across town. I have such a soft spot for Glo’s. Glad to hear they’re getting by. I hope that can continue throughout the uncertainty.

6 months ago

What a great series! I’ve been wondering how businesses on Capitol Hill have been faring. I would REALLY like to know what’s going on with our music and dance venues (Numos, Capitol Club, Q, Mercury, Neighbors, etc.,) Can you cover those businesses and how we can help them get through the pandemic?