The COVID-19 pandemic caused businesses to shut down, but now their
doors are open. Some could pick up where they left off, but startups like Americana Kitchen and Grille are struggling to get back to the way they were.
The new restaurant located on White Hall street began serving southern traditional about four months ago.
“We opened at the beginning of February,” said Giovannt’e Baker, head chef at Americana Kitchen and Grille.
Even as a startup, chef Baker says there was not a day when the place was not packed out.
“When we first opened, there was not a time that you could come into this restaurant and find an empty seat,” said Baker.
Americana was a destination for Sunday brunch, and customers were willing to wait a while for a meal.
“Sunday mornings after service was over there was a line, you know we had an hour wait time,”said Baker.
But in March, madison county officials ordered all non-essential businesses to close because of COVID-19.
“Whew, the beginning of the pandemic was stressful,” said Baker.
While Americana is open for dine-in and takeout, as COVID cases continue to rise, people are reluctant to leave the house.
“Due to the fact that no customers were out, making like $1000 in a day,” said co-owner, Vanity Butler.
I spoke to the co-owner, vanity butler, and found out how COVID-19 affects the income.
“In the beginning, $22-$24 thousand like a week.”
As much as the staff would like Americana to go back to how they were, vanity believes this is a new normal.
“I would like to go back to when we opened with all the business, but I understand this is going to be a rough time. I understand everything is gonna be touch and go.”
However, chef Baker says that the pandemic made the employees stronger.
“I think that COVID-19 has truly strengthened us as a unit. We have fought, we have argued, we have come closer,” said Baker.