The lingering effects of the pandemic have claimed another local business. Tortuga Sports Lounge, a West El Paso bar and restaurant at 126 Shadow Mountain Drive, announced Wednesday (1/19) it will be closing for good this Friday, January 21, 2022.

"After 8 awesome years, we must close. We just cant sustain......come say goodbye. We will only accept cash after Wednesday....love you! Drink all our wierd stuff!," wrote owner Ron Patterson on Tortuga's Facebook.

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If you guessed "can't sustain" is code for Covid killed my business you're not wrong.

"Covid is absolutely the reason," Patterson shared with me. "My sales are down 70% from before Covid. I can't pay my bills anymore. In addition, prices from suppliers has gone up effectively driving my prices up. In return, driving away more customers."

Keeping up with inflation and supplies and balancing their effects on the bottom line to keep customers coming back is a challenge echoed by many local businesses.

Those who have continued to support Tortuga Sports Lounge have been able to get their drink on, but not their bar food favs because the other challenge Ron has been struggling with a lot is keeping the kitchen open on a consistent basis.

The reason is one many local businesses have also been grappling with for a while now: staffing issues. "My kitchen has been closed for the better part of the last 3 months," Ron said. "Trying to get/keep staff is nuts."

The last day to have a few shots and make a few more memories there is Friday, January 21.

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