FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – A longstanding pizza restaurant is fighting to stay open amid COVID-19 restrictions. The owner of the Redwood Inn says if they don’t get strong community support soon, they’ll have to close down permanently for good.
Melissa Earls said they’ve been hanging on until the weather got cold. That’s when they had to close their large outdoor patio seating that seats well over 50 people.
“As soon as the patio season was over, it was like going from 100 to 0,” Earls said. “Once we had indoor only, people are just scared to come out right now.”
Then the governor re-issued the mandate on November 17 that restaurants could only fill 50 percent of their dining rooms. That’s when the Redwood Inn entered a crisis situation.
“We will be closed for good soon,” said Earls to a friend on Facebook. “We cannot make it like this. We have tried our best but it is just impossible. Our staff already barely have hours now. I feel sorry for so many!!”
She tells WANE 15 that they absolutely need community support if they’re to make it.
“Without it, we won’t survive,” Earls said. “We have hope. We want to make it. That’s our goal.”
Their indoor dining room can only seat 36 in accordance to the latest state mandate from Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb, but when social distancing is factored in they can’t even seat that much safely.
Earls is choosing to believe in optimism and the pizza that the community has loved since 1962.
“It’s possible for any of us not to make it right now,” she said referring to small businesses across the area. “With the love and support of friends, family, our customers, no one wants to see us fail. We don’t want to fail. So we’re going to do everything we can to make sure that we don’t.”
The restaurant located at 1432 West Main Street in Fort Wayne has three options for those who may feel uncomfortable dining in: carryout, curbside pick up, and delivery through Waiter on the Way.