Oz Blackaller has been a staple of University Heights for years. The chef found success in his tapas bar Cueva for nearly a decade, but this year things took an unexpected turn once COVID-19 hit.
“COVID-19 put a strain on the business,” Blackaller said. “It's been stressful as a father, a husband, they are my number one priority. And my business is how I provide for them.”
Blackaller saw his dining room go from buzzing to silent.
“We have definitely seen a decrease in the number of people that come and support us,” Blackaller said.
And the constant change in restrictions implemented by the state hasn't helped either. He knew that to survive he needed to transform his business.
“If you don't adapt, you fall,” Blackaller said. “Its evolution.”
Adapting to survive and now that the county is in the purple tier Blackaller said he hopes the changes help him get by.
"We adapted with an easier menu that can work with taking out and delivery," Blackaller said.
And a name change, now they are De Nada Kitchen and Market. Blackaller says the plan is to strengthen their to-go and deliver services as this is something that he feels has remained constant throughout all the changes.
“If I can create a successful takeout and delivery business, then we'll be okay," he said. “I think takeout and delivery is pandemic proof."