Paphos restaurants fighting to survive


Eighty per cent look set to close before Christmas

By Bejay Browne

DOZENS of restaurants and leisure facilities have closed their doors this week in Paphos, unsure of when, or if they will reopen, according to industry professionals.

“This week there has been a steep decrease in the number of establishments open in the district of Paphos. We will have to see if we have even 20 per cent remaining open before Christmas,” the president of the federation of restaurant/leisure owners Fitos Thrasyvoulou, told the Sunday Mail.

Even during the month of September, many places were only opening on Friday and Saturday evenings,” he said.

Also, shockingly, of the 1,200 or so restaurants and leisure facilities in Paphos, only around 700- 800 are legal and licensed and the remainder are unlicensed, he said.

“At the start of summer, most of the premises in Paphos old town were packed, and others saw this and opened up so quickly, even before they had a licence in place. They see the town busy and they all want to be there,” he said.

This has only compounded the problem as there are now too many cafes and eateries opening up “everywhere” with not enough customers to go around, he noted, adding that although Paphos old town was busy during the summer, the tourist area in Kato Paphos was a stark contrast.

“The tourist area is all but finished this year, it has been terrible so far,” he said.

As coronavirus is still rampant in Europe, it is obviously making things more difficult for tourism, the federation head said, and finances have been decimated due to an almost non-existent income for many.

“Financially, we want the banks to give more time to pay and concessions to people with loans such as mortgages, until the end of 2021 We also want landlords to be more flexible as many businesses have been closed for most of the year and it’s a big problem, They own these businesses and have spent large amounts of money over the years investing in them and the premises,” he said.

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