Sylvania restaurant sticks to take-out to protect family from coronavirus

Published: Jun. 12, 2020 at 7:45 PM EDT
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Dennis Chung owns Koto Buki Japanese Restaurant on Monroe Street in Sylvania, a family business with three generations of his family working at the restaurant.

Even though the governor has issued orders allowing restaurants to open their dining rooms for service after the COVID-19 shutdowns, Chung is choosing to continue as a take-out only restaurant for now.

The risk of COVID exposure would be devastating to his family with his elderly parents in the building.

“My mom's 85 and my dad is 90, and they're here all the time in the back. If one of my kids gets it I'm not worried about them getting terribly ill ... but if they pass it to my parents it could be lethal,” says Chung.

While family comes first for this businessman, Chung says he’s very lucky he doesn’t have to make choices in order to make a living.

“Thanks to our customers and our loyal customer base. We've been here since 1992, fortunately built up a good following, but it allows me the luxury of not having to open out of financial necessity," Chung said.

For Dennis, the carry-out works better because it reduces the amount of time they interact with customers, further protecting his parents.

“My gut it's proportional," Chung said. "If you spend five minutes in somebody's presence versus an hour, you're going to have 12 times more risk, even if they're not coughing or sneezing.”

Chung says if or when he does reopen his dining room, he will make sure it’s spread out so the customers are as comfortable as he and his family are.

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