Bourbon Restaurants Feeling Effects Of COVID-19

The news is grim for the restaurant industry as the United States grapples with the fallout from COVID-19, including closures and service reductions.

According to Restaurant Business Online, the industry lost 417,000 employees in March as many states have enacted stay-at-home or shelter-in-place orders, restricting dine-in service and forcing restaurants to offer delivery, drive-through or carry out.

The effects are starting to be felt in Bourbon.

Barn & Grill announced March 22 that it will be closing until further notice. The restaurant had been offering carry out to customers.

Planet Sub announced March 31 that it also was temporarily closing, citing the Crawford County Health Department’s recommendations.

“Rest assured we will be back soon and ready to celebrate our seventh year in May 2020!” the sub shop posted on its Facebook page.

Jo’s Coffee Shack, Uncle Ernie’s, Town Tavern and Skippy’s Route 66 Restaurant still appear to be offering carry out. 

Restaurant Business said it will be a challenge for restaurants to survive through carry out.

“The vast majority…can’t make up for lost dine-in sales through takeout and delivery,” Restaurant Business said, Work-at-home requirements are keeping commuters off the road and a sudden influx of unemployed workers could mean less spending on eating out.

The restrictions are expected to have devastating effects on the economy, especially in areas like Crawford County that rely on sales tax to do the heavy-lifting on revenue.

County Clerk John Martin warned March 17 that restrictions could lead to cuts. Even if COVID-19 peaks soon, it could take several months for a rebound, meaning a rough summer for tourism.

Sullivan Independent News

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