by Darien Davies
The coronavirus is wreaking havoc on pretty much every single aspect of every person’s life around the globe. Regardless if you’re sick or healthy, old or young, owner or employee, normalcy has been turned upside down, including peak season business for local restaurants. While most restaurant owners are laying off their employees and focusing on securing whatever delivery orders they can get, Annie Blake took a different approach.
“My hope is, if we close for a month, then we don’t have to close for six,” said Blake, owner of Death of Glory Bar in Delray Beach, Fla. She and her business partners made the tough decision to temporarily close the restaurant and bar for 30 days, and broke the news to their team of 25 full-time employees this past Tuesday, March 17. But, it wasn’t all bad news.
Blake and her partners reached into their own pockets to pay for their employees’ rent, up to $1,000, for the month of April. She considers her employees as family and wanted to reassure them that they’re here for them and the goal is to all pull through this together.
“Anyone who works here can give us a copy of their lease and, up to $1,000, we will pay their rent for April,” Blake said. She understands that this closure comes at the worst time of the year because March is usually their busiest month.
Server Ashley Amann said she agrees with Blake’s decision, but said that it’s a scary one. “I don’t think any of us know what will happen in the next week or two weeks,” Amann said. But, at least now she won’t have to worry about her rent next month, and feels grateful for Blake’s help.
Additionally, Blake met with her employees at the bar on Wednesday and sorted through her inventory of food items. Together they decided what could be frozen, what could be donated, and which items could be given to the team.
Blake hopes that they are able to reopen their doors within a month so she and her team can get back to serving the community they love. She also wishes that other businesses would temporarily close their doors to reduce the chances of spreading the virus. It could be a smaller change now that could prevent a larger problem later, and that’s something we all can get behind.