Memphis restaurants respond to Mayor Strickland’s order to close amid coronavirus outbreak

Memphis restaurants respond to Mayor Strickland’s order to close amid coronavirus outbreak

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Mayor Jim Strickland’s announcement to close restaurant dining rooms and bars has impacted many local business owners. Some even have to lay-off workers.

Instead of preparing for a busy weekend at Dru’s Bar, Tami Montgomery’s Friday looked different.

“My full-time job now is to find funding to keep going, and that’s what I’m going to do,” said Montgomery.

Montgomery was supposed to be preparing for the first night of liquor sales at her once beer-only Midtown bar.

But she was forced to shut her doors after Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland announced all dine-in restaurants, bars and gyms would have to close due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

“I had an option when I got out of bed. It was either crawl back in bed and just cry all day or get up and try to find a solution,” said Montgomery.

Montgomery’s solution for now has been to start a Gofundme page to raise money for her employees.

Joseph Grant, an entertainer at Dru’s Place, says it’s heart-warming to hear Montgomery’s plan to help employees. Grant is also a local bartender.

“Memphians we are strong. We’ll get through this together so I’m just trying to be someone to just bring a little bit more light to the darkness right now,” said Grant.

Meantime, Loflin Yard Co-Owner Taylor Berger is planning on hosting an outdoor market on Saturday to sell inventory items like fresh fruit and cleaning supplies instead of letting them go to waste.

“Our biggest asset is a lot of outdoor space so we feel like we can keep people safe while at he same time getting them what they need in this crazy time,” said Berger.

Governor Bill Lee has submitted a request to the Small Business Administration to allow statewide relief opportunities to Tennesseans.

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