This story first appeared at the Daily Nexus.
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In April 2020, Buddha Bowls owner and operator Daniel Dunietz was gearing up for another busy Deltopia weekend, traditionally the first weekend of UCSB’s spring quarter. He was used to students lining up outside his restaurant in search of bread bowls after a long day of partying.
But instead of a line out the door, Dunietz served 10 people for the whole day. His business had evaporated seemingly overnight, as students fled Isla Vista amidst the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“In the beginning of that first month with the lockdowns, we saw our slowest days since the first year of operation eight years ago, so it just completely decimated our business,” Dunietz said. “Since then, it’s been a challenge….