Popular Hilo eateries begin laying off employees

  • JOHN BURNETT/Tribune-Herald A customer enters Hilo Town Tavern on Wednesday. The popular Hilo watering hole and entertainment venue remains open, according to owner Issa Hilweh.

  • JOHN BURNETT/Tribune-Herald Shoppers browse the produce section of Hilo Farmers Market Wednesday. The market continues to operate, with reduced hours, according to owner Keith De La Cruz. Makuu Farmers Market in Puna has closed until further notice because of COVID-19 concerns.

  • JOHN BURNETT/Tribune-Herald Ken’s House of Pancakes, Hilo’s only 24/7 diner remains open for business, as does sister restaurant Pond’s Hilo, according to owner Debra Ching-Maiava.

  • JOHN BURNETT/Tribune-Herald Hilo Burger Joint, seen Wednesday, has closed its dining room and moved to a takeout/Express Waiters delivery business model, which also includes growlers of draft beer for delivery to those of legal drinking age, according to owner Rhonda Nichols.

Some East Hawaii restaurants are following Gov. David Ige’s Tuesday recommendation to move to a takeout/delivery service model during the COVID-19 coronavirus crisis, while other eateries are choosing to continue their dining room operations.