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COVID-19 pandemic shuts down local restaurant

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After nearly 40 years in business, one man’s dream of running his own restaurant came to an end after Camperos Grill & Bar in Brownsville was forced to close due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The restaurant, owned by Arturo Martinez, became a second home for his family and customers from both sides of the border.

General Manager Sandra Saldana said business was always good - until the pandemic.

“Anyone that is in this type of business knows how hard it is to maintain a business closed for just a week...a month,” Saldana said.

According to the National Restaurant Association, 17% of restaurants – more than 110,000- have closed in the last year. Like Camperos, a large number of the restaurants were fixtures in their communities that were open for more than 16 years.

The loss of revenue was difficult for the business, but it's the family they've created that worries the staff at Camperos.

More than half of restaurant owners who shut down because of COVID said they'll move to a different industry, but the Martinez family said they refuse to be part of that statistic.

"We will come back and surprise you,” Saldana said. “One way or another you'll see us again."

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