DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — Southern Social Table and Tap was not just a bar; it was a place for parties, get togethers, and a place to make memories.
Now, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was forced to close due to lack of sales and revenue.
“Like I said, when you’re down 73 percent, there’s only so much you can do,” Owner Mike Bryan said. “In fact, I couldn’t even keep anyone in the kitchen. Our sales were so bad that I actually had to go back in the kitchen and cook and clean and wash dishes and all.
“And it’s just like I said earlier, when there’s no end in sight and you have no idea what’s going on and there’s not an end date, you can’t just keep going on so.”
Southern Social is just one of the many local restaurants and bars in Dothan that has struggled through the past six months, but officials hope to see more national loans coming to help those businesses.
“There is going to have to be some additional relief given to our restaurants, and we’re going to continue to work with local, state, and national officials in trying to make sure this is all done in a safe but fair way for our local restaurants,” Dothan Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Dean Mitchell said. “Again, that’s why it’s important that we can hopefully see another round of PPP relief specifically targetted to restaurants.”
So until there is another round of paycheck protection program loans, local restaurants will still have to hope and promote themselves as much as possible to stay alive.
“There are few places where they go out, and they have a good time, and they celebrate,” Bryan said. “Whether it’s graduation or mom’s birthday or holiday party or, you know, so and so get together, and my place was one of those, and with my place going out of business, how many more places are left to do that?”