Maggie’s on the Prom, Seaside’s fine dining experience, will temporarily close for the winter because of impacts from the coronavirus pandemic.
This is the first winter since the Mercer family purchased Maggie’s in 2013 that the restaurant has not been able to stay open year-round.
“In the three months of the summer, we make our money for the year,” Sadie Mercer said. “This money pays the bills and the staff in the winter. This year, COVID restrictions took 67.5% of our seating. We went from having 16 tables, and bar seating, to having only eight tables.”
Maggie’s — with one of the best views in Seaside — quickly became the go-to place for celebrations, business luncheons and family gatherings.
Andy and Sadie Mercer bought the property seven years ago with co-owners William and Robin Montero and Dean and Patricia Hansen.
Through its kitchen have come some of the region’s finest chefs, providing locally sourced ingredients.
The restaurant, a frequent Iron Chef Goes Coastal award winner, also serves as a community hub, providing story nights, tastings and more.
State-mandated restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic, limited indoor seating and visitor traffic made operations increasingly difficult, Sadie Mercer said. “I’ve been calling it ‘a COVID season,’ she said. “COVID season will last as long as it lasts.”
The catering business went from 40 events on the books to two events, she said, and the Shilo Inn, a business partner, closed its ballrooms.
The cancellation of most events at the Seaside Civic and Convention Center during the winter added to the decision.
Mercer sees a comeback around the corner. They are planning to reopen next year.
“It’s been really good doing business in Seaside,” she said. “It’s such an amazing business community. Even compared to our close-by neighbor towns, I would choose Seaside. The businesses are here for each other.”
Brian Owen, the CEO of the Seaside Chamber of Commerce, commended Maggie’s for their commitment to employee and customer safety over the past four-plus months.
“The effects of COVID-19 and the restrictions placed on business will be felt throughout our community this off-season,” Owen said. “Choices like this one are some of the most challenging decisions a business owner will ever have to make.”