Things were almost normal for this new Phoenix restaurant. Then omicron hit

By Lauren Gilger
Published: Wednesday, January 19, 2022 - 12:26pm
Updated: Thursday, January 20, 2022 - 9:47am

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Michael Babcock
Mariana Dale/KJZZ
Michael Babcock in 2018

These days, it’s not wise to venture out to a favorite restaurant without calling ahead. You never know if a spot will be open, thanks to staffing shortages and omicron closures.

It’s been a trying year for the hospitality industry in particular, and Michael Babcock has seen it all firsthand.

Babcock is the chef and owner of Belly, a Vietnamese-inspired restaurant that opened in Phoenix in the middle of the pandemic.

The Show spoke with him to learn about his experience navigating the challenges of a new restaurant and COVID-19 obstacles.

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