CENTREVILLE, Mich. (WOOD) — At a time when most businesses are cutting back or closing due to widespread measures aimed at curbing the spread of coronavirus, others are buying equipment and expanding.
The Local Beer Cellar and Pizza Oven in Centreville started making changes immediately when coronavirus restrictions were put in place. Dan Templin, who owns the place along with his wife, said the business started delivery and switched to preparing only pizza and nachos.
“We decided if we got shut down, we were just going to transition into a pizza shop and have all the servers turn into delivery drivers,” Templin said.
The restaurant is now selling five times the number of pizzas it normally does.
“We actually sold too many pizzas and had to go get another pizza oven and so it’s been working out very well for us in these interesting times,” Templin said.
The Local is also now selling bread and toilet paper in its beer cellar store.
Tyler Diethrich had been on the job only a few days, having just completed server training, when he heard the restaurant was considering a temporary closure.
“I got ready to fill out for unemployment and then (Templin) was like, ‘Hey,’ called us up Wednesday and he was like, ‘Hey, we’ve got a job for you, if you want to deliver,’ and I said, ‘Sure thing,’” Diethrich said.
He said customers have been very appreciative of the delivery drivers.
“We’re kind of trying to keep distance but everybody gives a nice wave, a thumbs up,” Diethrich said.
With the bar and dining room closed, the overall numbers are not as strong, but that is not a big concern right now.
“We aren’t doing the business that we did before the shutdown, but it’s enough to keep my staff working, which is what we were going for,” Templin said.
The employees are trying to make the best of things until they get the OK to resume normal service, which won’t be until April 13 at the earliest.
“I don’t want them to pull the trigger too early but I mean, it can’t come soon enough for us. We miss having our customers in here,” Templin said.
The business has changed hours and is now open every day from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. It used to be closed on Mondays.