There are orange cones blocking parking spots on Broughton Street so that eateries may set chairs and tables there so that more people can dine outside.
Georgia (WTOC) – SAVANNAH, Georgia (WTOC) – This year was among the most difficult on record for the restaurant industry in Savannah.
Exactly one year ago, Mayor Van Johnson of Savannah implemented a mandatory shelter in place policy. Only takeout or delivery will be available at all restaurants.
Preliminary figures reveal that the number of eateries in Savannah has decreased by 20% a year later. Workers in the industry are upbeat, but this has been a difficult year.
According to one witness, “It seemed like a storm had hit the city.”
“We’re doing what we’ve got,” said the team.
As of 2020, the Savannah restaurant business is still reeling from a significant blow. Stories of endurance do exist.
It was Paula Letcher’s decision to launch her new pub & restaurant in the midst of a pandemic that made her stand out.
Inside the middle of the pandemic, “we are going to be throwing $100,000 into something like a new site,” Letcher remarked.
Johnny Baker, Letcher’s business partner, was instrumental in making their goal a reality, she added.
Let me tell you something: He was my rock. Letcher said he misses him every day.
It wasn’t long before they were preparing to open a restaurant that they discovered Baker had COVID-19. He was placed on a ventilator two weeks later.
It was Letcher’s firm belief that they would not be delaying their opening.
What am I supposed to do now?” “That’s the last thing he’d want,” Letcher remarked.
Even as we recover from this pandemic, business continues to be slow for many.
“It has been struggling since since COVID,” Abe’s On Lincoln proprietor Brian Huskey said.
COVID regulations, according to Huskey, have harmed their already-tiny venue. The most difficult element for Huskey is enforcing CDC regulations.
Every day, we’re fighting folks who refuse to wear masks even though it states “masks are needed” on front door, according to Huskey. When it comes to Southern hospitality, it’s difficult to display it all the time. In addition, we become defensive since these people are jeopardising our livelihood & our life,”
Both owners are grateful to still be in business. This was not the case for everyone.
According to information obtained from the city’s Revenue Department, dining options in Savannah are declining.
Tax certificates for restaurants were awarded to 285 establishments in 2019. New and current restaurants must submit an annual application, which is finalised in April of each year.
Only 280 people survived the pandemic in the first few weeks in 2020.
That number has fallen to 224 as of this week.
There will be a reduction of 56 restaurants by the April deadline if things stay as they are.
“It’s been heartbreaking,” Joe Marinelli, president of Visit Savannah, told the Savannah Morning News.
Marinelli believes COVID was a true measure of a person’s tenacity.
Many eateries have been able to thrive because to the concept of takeout, he noted. When it comes to word-of-mouth and neighbourhood buzz, the restaurants which have accomplished it well done those things are getting the attention. There are consequences for those who aren’t doing things right, and those who are.