KINGWOOD — Dismal, is how Jean Guillot described his business at The Preston County Inn.
“Traffic is down and there is not even as many takeout orders,” he said.
Guillot credits the slow business to the recent snow and the county going orange on the Department of Health and Human Resources COVID-19 map.
“We usually have 30 to 35 parties scheduled by now for December,” he said. “Now we only have two for the month. I’m afraid we’re going to see close-downs nationwide.”
Guillot, who is also mayor of Kingwood, said he doesn’t believe the pandemic hurts corporate restaurants as much as local ones.
“The corporate restaurants are recession-proof,” Guillot said. “In the spring there was stimulus packages that helped local businesses. Now there is nothing. I have to have the lights on and have staff come in. I’m afraid a lot of us are not going to survive this.”
Guillot said he still offers the complete menu with limited salad bar. The Inn offers both take-out and dine-in service. Hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. Phone 304-329-2220.
Marshall Phayer, manager of Melanie’s Family Restaurant in Aurora, said staying open has been a challenge.
“We’re doing about a third of the business we did last year,” Phayer said. “There’s definitely been a decrease in the past two weeks.”
He said he tries to keep the restaurant open because a lot of elderly customers come in to dine.
“They depend on us to be here for breakfast or dinner,” Phayer said.
Melanie’s offers both dine-in and take-out service. Phayer said the salad bar is closed but the complete menu is being offered with soup and salad.
Hours are 8 a.m-8 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 8 a.m.-7 p.m. Sunday. Phone 304-735-3219.
Sarah Davis said Down Home Diner in Kingwood is doing about half the business it did prior to the pandemic.
“We’re not doing well after the church closing,” she said, noting a lot of people used to come in after church to eat. “But we are going to try to stay open.”
Davis said Down Home Diner offers the complete menu and both dine-in and take-out service.
Hours are 7 a. m.-7 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday and closed Tuesday. Phone 304-329-6112.
Bill Wiles, owner of Scoops of Joy in Kingwood, said he’s seen a decline in business during the pandemic.
“We’re trying to stay open,” he said. “We have great food, ice cream and desserts.”
He said customers can go to the Scoops of Joy Facebook page for the daily special. He is also offering a lunch special that includes soup, sandwich and dessert for $10. Scoops of Joy offers both dine-in and take-out.
“We want to thank our customers for all of their support,” Wiles said.
Hours are 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Friday and closed Saturday and Sunday. Phone 304-441-2025.
Roger R. Bolyard, owner of Spent Grain Cafe, a part of the Screech Owl Brewery in Bruceton Mills, said the cafe is closed until 2021.
In March the governor closed all restaurants. After two employees were exposed to COVID-19 in June, they exposed the rest of the restaurant’s workers, Bolyard said. No customers were exposed and the cafe reopened.
But staffing became a problem and the decision was made to shut down for now.
“We’re still running the brewery at full speed,” he said.
Bolyard said there have been some changes. He just added a large cold room and bought a canner.
“We’re delivering beer in cans in six counties in West Virginia and two counties in Maryland,” he said. “We’ve put out about 55,000 cans since July.”
Bolyard said Screech Owl now has an online store at screechowlbrewing.com, another revenue stream aimed at helping the business.
He said the store offers shirts, hats, glassware and hoodies. It will be adding quilts, table runners and more later. Phone 304-379-4777 for information.