With the advance of the coronavirus pandemic, how citizens go about their routines has changed drastically from day to day, or at times from moment to moment, with government mandates and decisions coming hard and fast with little time to process what could happen next.
As of Friday one segment of the business population that was scrambling to adapt amid the changes were bars and restaurants. Owners of bars and eating places were informed on Tuesday, March 17, which happened to be St. Patrick’s Day, that patrons needed to be out of their establishments by 5 p.m. that day.
The Review has spoken with more than a dozen restaurant or bar/restaurant owners in the area to see what adaptations are taking place to keep their businesses functioning during a time of uncertainty.
Brad Pearson, owner of AJ’s Bar & Restaurant in downtown Park Falls has been in the restaurant business for 30 years, the last 10 in Park Falls. Presently he is offering a full menu for those who call in at 715-762-3481 during regular business hours, Tuesday through Saturday, for curbside pickup or limited delivery.
“It’s a strange time,” he said in a recent telephone conversation. “But we’re doing the best we can.”
Schienebeck’s Shanty in Butternut is limiting its hours for the takeout only edict to Friday and Saturday from 3-8 p.m. and Sunday mornings. Friday features a full menu, including the ever-popular fish fry, Saturday its pizza and burgers, and Sunday mornings potato doughnuts and coffee are the menu choices. Owner Lisa Schienebeck asks that those ordering for six or more please call ahead at 715-769-3314 or 715-661-0525 to give her staff time to fill the orders efficiently.
She said she and her staff will “do the best we can” during these strange days. As an additional service, for those who want special orders outside of the newly-instituted regular business hours, she invites patrons to call her at 715-661-0525. She will make sure the orders are filled and delivery will be free.
At The Round-Up Bar and Grill on Highway 182 east of Park Falls owner Terry Schneider is playing a waiting game. He was not offering service [as of Friday ] but said that could change after he consults with fellow business owners and his own staff. He is taking things day-by-day in hopes that the mandated closures do not last long-term. If he begins to offer service, he wants it to be done effectively and efficiently with his customers satisfied and everyone safe and sound.
Terri Braun of Northwoods Supper Club is taking this new business challenge in stride and day-by-day. Beginning at noon on Friday she and her staff took orders for the traditional Friday fish fry and other menu items by telephone at 715-762-4447, with curbside pickup available. A newly implemented menu is being established to offer budget conscious choices to the customer base. Those customers are strongly urged to make credit or debit card purchases.
China Beijing in Park Falls is remaining open daily from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. with takeout orders available. They can be reached at 715-762-1888.
Renee Beck of Park Falls Family Restaurant on Hwy. 13 in Park Falls indicated that the best way to find out if carryout/curbside pick-up options for daily specials and the regular menu are available is to call the restaurant at 715-762-2090.
“I’d love to tell you we’ll be open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day,” she said Friday, “but I can’t. Our hours may become variable dependent on business. But be assured we’re doing everything we can to accommodate our customers.”
The Sportsman’s Lounge located east of Park Falls off Hwy. 182 was making its trial run under the new restraints on Friday. Owner Ann Wojcieszak hoped for calls from folks wanting pizza, a burger or fish fry for carryout that she would happily fill. The restaurant’s normal business hours are 2-10 p.m. daily; phone number is 715-762-4757.
“It’s lonely when you’re used to talking to people in your business life and that is taken away,” she said in a recent conversation. “And it was taken away very quickly this past week.”
The husband and wife team of Shelly and Larry Arcand at Espresso ala’ Mode kicked into carryout mode immediately upon word that they could not have patrons dining in their restaurant located on 2nd Ave. in downtown Park Falls. They serve a full menu and offer ice cream as well. They can be reached at 715-762-0043 from 10 a.m.-8 p.m. daily, though they stop taking food orders at 7:30 p.m.
“Though if we’re here, we’ll scoop,” Shelly said of the ice cream portion of their business.
Up north at the Glid Inn, cook Danielle Clark said they were trying to keep as upbeat as possible, with a full menu and daily specials available for carryout, and free delivery within 5 miles of the establishment located at the intersections of Hwys 13. and 77 north of Glidden. Orders can be called in at 715-264-3000. The restaurant is closed Mondays and Tuesdays but is open 5 a.m-7:30 a.m. Wednesday and Thursday, 4:30 a.m.-8:30 p.m. Friday 5 a.m.-8:30 p.m. Saturday, and on Sunday from 3:30-7:30 p.m.
Big Bear Lodge of Winter’s carryout/curbside service will be on a week-to-week basis. The owner advised customers it would be best to call ahead at 715-332-5521.
“We’re not exactly located on the beaten path,” he said. “And the pandemic and the government’s response to it have made the business world very fluid.”
He was hopeful that the strictures for business places would not continue in the long term, causing further stress for everyone.
Molly Virnig and her husband Dan are owners of Birch Island Resort out of Phillips. She said they were implementing a carryout service between the hours of 4:30 and 8:30 p.m. for the weekend beginning on Friday and continuing through Sunday, March 22. Orders could be placed by calling 715-339-3151.
“We’ll need to see how it goes before we can commit to a schedule,” Molly said. “It’s impossible to plan too far into the future with the rapidity of change that has taken place just in the past week.”
Club 13, located on Hwy. 13 in Phillips is also taking it day-by-day according to owner Joan Reed.
“We have take-out and free delivery from 3-8 p.m. that began Thursday, March 19 and will continue through Sunday. Beyond that we are unsure,” she said, citing changes mandated by the state with very little notice as the reason for her caution. Orders could be placed by phone at 715-339-3456.
The A&W located on Hwy. 13 in Phillips has reduced its hours from 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. but maintains a daily operation for take-out orders, available by calling 715-339-3104.
Kelly Kleinschmidt suggested customers call Kountry Kafe in Fifield, which is normally open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily, to call ahead at 715-762-4946. She indicated carry-outs would be available from the full menu if enough customer interest was shown.
Each restaurant that responded to telephone calls from the Review indicated they had a social media presence on Facebook and suggested those who are users to keep up with information posted there since it is updated quickly and regularly. All indicated that there were no issues with the supply chain for food and other necessary items for their businesses except for one. That issue occurred at Northwoods Supper Club in Fifield.
“We couldn’t get toilet paper from our regular supplier,” Terri Braun said with a laugh. “Wouldn’t you just know it?”
All local businesses are also being urged to contact their local chamber of commerce with their takeout or delivery options, as well as their hours of operation. Both the Phillips and Park Falls chambers are compiling lists of local businesses that are open and operating.
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