20200904-LOC-StreetSavory

COVID-19 has created insurmountable challenges for Street Savory, which announced it will close its kitchen at Branch and Blade and suspend its regular food-truck hours.

The Street Savory Food Truck will close its kitchen at Branch and Blade Brewing Co. in Keene and pause its regular food-truck hours due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, its co-owner said Thursday.

“It’s losing our ability for indoor dining, and then also losing all of our events,” said Austin Reida, who owns the food truck with his fiancée, Kayla Borden.

The restaurant’s last day at Branch and Blade will be Friday, Sept. 18. The brewery itself will remain open as normal.

The food truck is also suspending its regular hours, which were 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Friday at 502 Winchester St.

The indoor dining area at Branch and Blade at 17 Bradco St. can’t hold “more than a handful of tables” spaced six feet apart, per state guidelines for restaurants, Reida said. And while the restaurant has been able to serve people sitting outdoors over the summer, it won’t draw enough business to remain sustainable through the winter.

“There’s no way we can survive the winter based on sales from limited indoor seating, and with no end to restrictions in sight, we have no choice but to say farewell,” Reida and Borden wrote in a Facebook post announcing the changes Wednesday.

Beyond the limited indoor seating, Street Savory has also suffered because many large events, where the business typically makes most of its money, have been canceled due to COVID-19 restrictions.

“Branch and Blade is a piece of it, but really the business model is built around events,” Reida said Thursday. “Branch and Blade, we sell quite a bit of food there, but the food truck itself was the money maker a lot of the times, for big festivals, events. The food truck was on the road constantly, and that’s where we made more significant money.”

Reida and Borden started the food truck about two years ago, and Street Savory opened its kitchen at Branch and Blade in June 2019. For the time being, the food truck will not have any regular hours or locations but will open for “special occasions” that will be announced on the restaurant’s social media accounts, Reida added.

But fans of Street Savory’s food — which ranges from locally sourced burgers and sandwiches to Asian-inspired dishes — shouldn’t fret over these temporary changes, Reida said.

“We feel confident that this isn’t goodbye, it’s just we’re taking a pause while the world resets a little,” he said. “And we’re going to come back with a great formula again, and a different scenario that, hopefully, is going to be a lot more lucrative for us.”

Jack Rooney can be reached at 352-1234, extension 1404, or jrooney@keenesentinel.com. Follow him on Twitter @RooneyReports.