GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Head Chef Kelsey Winter-Troutwine of One Twenty Three Tavern is standing alone in a dining area that would normally be packed with guests.
"Things have changed quite a bit here," Winter-Troutwine staid. "We've got an empty dining room here. On top of that, we've had to lay off all of our hourly employees in both the front and back of the house."
It's a common story across West Michigan as many restaurant employees find themselves out of work, hopefully only temporarily. In the meantime, One Twenty Three is offering carry out and delivery through UberEats in an effort to keep the lights on.
The menu has changed a bit but Winter-Troutwine says the house favorites are still available.
"We're (cooking) things that travel well but our mainstays are still on there," he stated. "We've got both of our burgers on there, the 123 and our Smashburger. We've also got our meatloaf. That's a mainstay on there."
The tavern is also doing what it can to support the employees that it was forced to lay off. The tips given through UberEats will be collected into a pool and then distributed to them to help them financially during the pandemic according to Winter-Troutwine.
Because the restaurant is part of the Studio Park complex in downtown Grand Rapids, it has access to that movie-time favorite: popcorn.
"We've got these popcorn machines popping every day for close to six to eight hours a day," he said. "We've got cotton candy and all of your other favorite candies as well."
So the next time you're gathering the family for movie night at home, you can order some of Celebration Cinema's concessions through the restaurant's menu on UberEats, online, or by phone for pick up. And don't forget about #TakeoutTuesday. You can support local restaurants by getting takeout or delivery every Tuesday until West Michigan businesses are back up to full speed. Share photos of your food on social media using the hashtag: #TakeoutTuesday.
Do you run or work for a local business that is staying open and is in need of customers?
Tell us about it. You can fill out a simple online form, so your business can be considered for a future “We’re Open West Michigan” story.