Business, Coronavirus

Roswell Tavern Opens Up About Coronavirus Struggles

Jaime McDonough, a bartender at 1920 Tavern, speaks about the struggles local restaurants are facing amid the spread of coronavirus.
Jaime McDonough, a bartender at 1920 Tavern, speaks about the struggles local restaurants are facing amid the spread of coronavirus.
Credit Lisa Rayam / WABE

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp hasn’t ordered restaurants and other businesses to shut down just yet, leaving local governments to decide how best to curb the spread of COVID-19.

The U.S. restaurant industry is now on the verge of collapse, with revenue shortages forcing owners to lay off staff, affecting 15.6 million workers, according to the National Restaurant Association.

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has issued an executive order that bans in-restaurant dining but is allowing takeout and delivery. That order also closes bars and nightclubs that do not serve food, gyms, movie theaters, arcades, bowling alleys and private social clubs.

Other suburbs like Brookhaven, Dunwoody and the city of Roswell have been ordered to stop service to dine-in customers.

Late Friday afternoon, workers along Old Roswell’s Historic Canton Street were struggling with altering their business operations.

Nearly 20 eateries line those six blocks, including 1920 Tavern. The restaurant had drawn a fairly large crowd of customers lounging and munching at outdoor tables, just hours before the order came from Roswell Mayor Lori Henry to restrict service.

Jaime McDonough, a bartender at 1920 Tavern, spoke with “Morning Edition” host Lisa Rayam and said he felt that everyone in the area was just holding on.

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