HUNTINGTON, WV (WOWK) — With “Shelter-in-Place” orders across the region, restaurants continue to stay open to customers for take-out orders. However, even with meals being sold, the local economy continues to suffer.
Third Avenue in downtown Huntington looks like a ghost town most days, and so do the restaurants that line the streets.
“Before I turn on the music, you could definitely say your name (and) it would reverberate back to you,” said Chris Miles, general manager at Butter It Up, describing the echo one could hear inside the market. Uncertainty of sales also brings an impact to local produce and food suppliers. “It’s really hard working with our farmers [and] finding out exactly how much of each items we need to order because we don’t know how business is going to be,” Miles added.
Other business owners, like George Alexandropoulos, are being proactive amid health concerns. “We’re (cleaning) the doors (after) almost every other person,” said the 46-year owner of Jolly Pirate Donuts on Route 60. Alexandropoulous has also set a designated entry and a designated exit at his donut shop so customers don’t cross paths and stay at least 6 feet from one another.
But while you may choose to pick-up your food in person, drive through a restaurant, or take advantage of curbside delivery in downtown Huntington, restaurants continue to lose business.
“It’s a drastic change,” said Miles. “(We’ve lost) roughly about 50% of our sales.”
“The effect is very bad,” said Alexandropoulos. “Yesterday I said (we lost) 60% of sales; today, it’s more.”
As local business owners do more to keep you safe, they’re also asking you to continue supporting them by spending your money in the local economy.