ANACONDA-Across the Treasure State, restaurants, bars, casinos and gyms are being hit hard as the Governor announced statewide closures earlier this week, to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
On a typical Saturday afternoon, the parking lot of the Seven Gables at Georgetown Lake is packed with cars of skiers, ice fishermen and families grabbing a quick bite to eat and enjoying a few drinks. However, this Saturday the parking lot was just about empty.
The Seven Gables has been the staple restaurant at Georgetown Lake for over 50 years and on a Saturday morning it's usually packed with hungry customers, but this Saturday, the chairs were up and the restaurant was empty.
"At this point in the morning we would usually have most of our tables full, we'd have a full waitress staff, I would be behind the bar and we would be pretty happening at this point during the day," said co-owner Dean Foulger.
Foulger and Robert Muffett took over as owners just a few months back and both men have lived in the area for years and they already knew the restaurant and the customers well. Foulger adds he wanted to own the restaurant to give back to the community.
On Saturday morning, one of the restaurant’s regulars, Joe, came in for coffee and food. Instead of sitting at the bar and drinking his hot coffee, Foulger gave it to him in a to-go cup and Joe sat in his car while the kitchen cooked his chicken and french fries.
Foulger even brought the food to Joe's car and thanked him for the continued support during these tough times.
Puck-up and curbside service are still available at the restaurant, but with reduced hours and staff, Foulger says they're making roughly 60 percent less than they normally would, each day.
He adds his staff is feeling the strain as well, on a typical Saturday, the restaurant has roughly fifteen employees and currently, they're operating with two.
"We're going to have to be adaptive during this time, it's going to be constantly changing and we're just trying to do everything we can to stay afloat," said Foulger.
To stay afloat the restaurant and bar now has packaged liquor to go, and they've increased their grocery items for those in need in the area. Foulger says they've stocked up on items like milk, butter and eggs.
"We need to get through these next six weeks or whenever this virus is cleared up, and get it going in the right direction," said Muffett.
The duo says they're trying to remain positive and so are many other businesses in the Anaconda area. Foulger says they're trying to support one another during these difficult times.
Both men say they can't wait for the day, they can open the doors and serve a hot cup of coffee and a cold beer to their regular customers.
"I want to thank everyone for coming up here and supporting us it means a lot to us," said Muffett.
During the outbreak, the restaurant is open seven days a week for pick-up and curbside service from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.