Southern Restaurant reopens curbside style

Published 3:36 pm Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Southern Restaurant reopened their doors, curbside style, on Monday.
The restaurant previously announced their closure on March 23, stating they would resume dine-in options once the pandemic ended. According to the restaurant’s owner Ava Chu, the decision to reopen came from the pandemic lasting longer than expected.
“In the beginning we didn’t think [the pandemic] was going to carry on as long as it did,” she said. “We took it as an opportunity to make some renovations in the back and work on some cleaning projects we couldn’t do during normal business hours. We kind of had no choice but to reopen, we had to make a dollar.”
With their reopening and transition to curbside, Chu said it hasn’t been easy, but has been met with positivity from the community.
“We’ve gotten a lot of support out of the community,” she said. “I think as a whole, you just have to take the positive out of it. I think all the restaurants downtown are coming together, and that’s a good thing. Our community is definitely reaching out and trying to support all of us as much as they can. It’s not been easy.”
Chu said from her perspective, times like these have not been easy for business owners.
“This is a struggle,” she said. “Owning your own business is a daily struggle, already. Speaking for myself, and I know many other people fall into this, I’ve worked you know up to this point in my life, incredibly hard, put in a lot of hours and labor to get where I am. This is something completely out of our control, and it’s scary.”
She also said it is not easy for employees.
“I think definitely on a smaller business scale, you develop a different relationship with your employees, and it’s not just an employee level, it’s like a family within the workplace,” she said. “It’s impacted them as well. Kind of having your hands tied and not being able to do anything, that’s a lot on your shoulders.”
In terms of how the restaurant will be as of now, Chu said the menu remains the same except for sides being scaled down.
“With the lack of sales, there’s no sense in making an abundance of things because we want to keep the freshness and quality of it, so we have limited some things,” she said. “For the most part all of our menu is the same, just some sides have been scaled down.”
Food is currently delivered to customers curbside. Employees are wearing gloves, and taking extra precautions during this time.
The hope is that the restaurant will remain open during this time and eventually transition back to normal after the pandemic and restrictions subside.
Hours have been cut back to Monday through Saturday 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Those wishing to order can do so by calling 423-542-6736. Chu said people can walk in to place an order, but calling remains the preferred option.
“I really think everyone is pulling together the best we can, and the best we know how to,” she said. “I’m not originally from the area, but that is one thing I will say that I appreciate about our community here.”

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