Restaurant in Small Illinois Town feels the effects of COVID-19 caused shutdown

Over in Illinois, bars and restaurants will be closed for two weeks at the close of the business day on Monday. News 10 spoke with one restaurant that will be affected.

Posted: Mar 16, 2020 6:21 PM
Updated: Mar 17, 2020 12:23 PM

WEST UNION, Ill. (WTHI) – Over in Illinois, bars and restaurants will be closed for two weeks at the close of the business day on Monday. News 10 spoke with one restaurant that will be affected.

Just off of Illinois State Highway 1 in the southeast corner of Clark County sits a little town called West Union. With a population that rests just under 300, it’s towns like this one whose restaurants and bars will be hit hardest from Governor J.B. Pritzker’s latest announcement.

West Union Café is no exception. Owner Kaycee Adams told News 10 how they are handling the news.

They plan to still offer some food services. Adams says people with children will have the first choice in working so they can continue to earn money. Some employees have offered to not be paid so that others can be. Adams says she’s also talked with community members who have offered to pay employees to do work around their homes.

Adams says she was absolutely heartbroken when she heard the news, for both her employees and her customers.
“We stay open on Holidays to feed people around here that don’t have family and don’t have anywhere to eat,” Adams said, “I have a lot of single moms that work for me trying to make ends meet. It’s heartbreaking.”

Adams says despite all the negative feelings that come with her restaurant’s in-house dining being shut down, she plans to bring positivity and help the people in her small town throughout this difficult time.

Adams says her café gets food delivered to their restaurant before a lot of the stores do. She says they plan to do a curbside pick-up service and also do deliveries locally. Not only that, but she says residents of West Union can come to her café for essentials like toilet paper or paper towels.

This way, they don’t have to go to busy stores. Adams says hopefully by doing this, some employees can still work and get paid, and her café can stay busy. She told News 10 it won’t work, though, unless her town comes together.

“If there’s no money coming in, there’s no money going back out,” she concluded, “So think about these employees, waitresses, and cooks. This is their livelihood. They don’t have a corporation standing behind them, but we are going to do what we can to help.”

Adams says this truly is unchartered territory and we are all in this together. She says if we all come together like she thinks her small town will, we can get through it one day at a time.

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