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Bay City community offers support for restaurant owners impacted by indoor dining ban

Published: Jan. 29, 2021 at 6:29 PM EST
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BAY CITY, Mich. (WJRT) -(01/29/21)- If you live in Bay City-- there’s a good chance you have visited one of Vince Stuart’s restaurants.

“Stock Pot has been there for 33 years. Uptown Grill, we’ve been going on 7 years and then Vinny’s Pizzeria, we have not opened yet,” said restaurant owner Vince Stuart.

That’s due to COVID-19 state mandated restrictions to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Keeping three restaurants going hasn’t been easy.

“It’s emotional stressful and very much like a roller coaster because you don’t know when the day is and we open and not open source like you’re working for somebody else right now because they have to control what you’re doing,” he said

One bright spot has been the community and city support. Including a Bay City promotion encouraging people to buy local.

“They are promoting that you buy local gift cards. Come in and buy a gift card for say 25 and get an extra 10,” Stuart said.

Stuart says it’s been a great thing for restaurants trying to stay a float.

“That kind of helps because it gives you a little cash flow now. And then it brings the customers back in when you finally do be open or even from takeout, you know, because you know they can come in for takeout food service and so that that really helps a lot because it keeps your name up there too. And, you know, it’s good to see because when you sell those gift cards and those are loyal customers you want to come back in,” he said.

Now Stuart is prepping two of his restaurants to reopen for inside dining next week.

“It’s really exciting and it’s very critical because 25% is better than nothing. It actually you know we’ll do our best to see the people who come out. You know, at least. And we’ll find ways to just keep pounding away hopefully we get to the 50 to 100 and be back to normal,” Stuart said.

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