Local restaurant reflects on 2020, hopeful for opportunity in new year

OAK HILL, WV (WOAY) – As the new year begins, local restaurants are excited for a fresh start in 2021.

The new year has begun and the COVID-19 pandemic is still ongoing. One of the industries affected the most by it is restaurants, especially those that are locally owned. And many restaurants in Southern West Virginia faced hardships throughout 2020 with business restrictions.

One such restaurant was Café One Ten in Oak Hill. According to the owner Don Williams, they’ve been trying to adapt since the beginning of the pandemic last March. 

“Early on the dining was closed, so we shifted our focus to carry out and delivery. And that carried us through really well. Then once the dining rooms opened to half capacity we marked off half of our table,” Williams said.

The switch to carry out and delivery was a saving grace. Café One Ten decided to offer free local delivery, and they saw an outpour of community support.  

“People went out of their way to order pick up and delivery when it all went down because they realized how much it would hurt our industry and our restaurant.”

However, not all of their business could be saved. As the pandemic lingered on, less people were holding events and gatherings, causing catering businesses to crumble.

“Our catering business is the one thing that totally fell out. We did maybe two or three things this Christmas season when we’d normally do probably 30 things.”

Café One Ten says they’re thankful for the community support that’s kept them afloat. And many other local businesses all over the state are in similar situations and hoping 2021 will bring less restrictions and help their businesses bounce back.

“You just have to try to find that balance of following rules, staying safe for everyone and trying to make a little money and stay open.”