CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Since switching to takeout only, restaurants in Charlottesville are saying things are going better than expected.
"The tables are all empty, the bar is empty, but there’s still people cooking in the kitchen and we still have customers and that’s both very heartening and very surreal." Oakhart Social Owner Ben Clore said.
Clore and his neighbor Daniel Kaufman never saw the pandemic coming. Kaufman owns Public Fish & Oyster on West Main Street and Pronto!.
"We're not doing anywhere near the business we were doing before, but we're doing enough to keep the lights on right now and that’s what’s important." Kaufman said.
We first introduced you to the pair last week after both were forced to lay off dozens of employees. Since then, the community has shown up to help them stay afloat.
"It has been a very positive response, more so than I thought it would be. This has allowed us to keep some staff on, to get some bills paid, and to get money into the hands of the people who really need it right now." Kaufman said.
Accommodations like designated parking spots for takeout have helped business.
"It will work for a bit longer but we still have a lot of employees that don't have any work right now. And that’s going to have to change at some point so hopefully we can get this virus...the curve flattened and get to the other side of that." Clore said.
Both agree that it will take constant support from the community to help prevent dozens of locally-owned restaurants from shutting the doors.
“I’d really urge everyone to continue doing this, this can’t be temporary. You want restaurants in this town, you have got to support us now, this is when we need you. So don’t let your foot up off the gas.” Kaufman said.
We have a full list of restaurants in the area that are open here.