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The Homestead Café Owner Gary Howard Speaks About Why the Restaurant is Closed

Many folks have been wondering what is going on with The Homestead Café.  Why are they closed?  We wanted to get the inside scoop on where the business stands from the owner himself.

Owner Gary Howard has decided to put the restaurant up for sale.  After a grueling year and a half, the business was struggling to remain open due to many different factors.  After completing a few renovation projects, the pandemic has proved to be too much to overcome with the added issues. 

When the country initially began to shut down in March of 2020, Gary figured that would be a good time to get a few renovations done in hopes that the pandemic would not last long, and things would go back to “normal” after a while.  The walls got a fresh coat of paint to liven the place up a bit and brand-new flooring was installed to revitalize the look. 

Over the months, various repairs cropped up, as all restaurants experience, which required additional expense.  They lost all of their food when they had to replace the compressor in the walk-in refrigerator.  The fireplace heater blew up in the dining room, which was fully replaced with a new one.  The water heater had to be replaced and a leaking roof fixed.  We all know that saying “when it rains, it pours,” and that’s exactly what it has been like.  Yet, Gary has done his best to remain positive and hopeful for a better future as the weeks go on.

However, as many folks have noticed, The Homestead Café has been closed off and on during times they would normally be open.  Being so dedicated to the community, Gary felt that he needed to explain to the community members what exactly is going on and why.  Since the passing of his brother, Craig, Gary has struggled to keep the restaurant going due to many different issues that have stemmed from the pandemic.  The situation has drastically changed from what it was pre-pandemic.

Attempting to return to what they knew as normal, the restaurant has not been the same since before the pandemic shut-down.  Finding staff willing to work has emerged as a huge challenge in the recovery efforts of restaurants worldwide.  The demand for inside dining has grown with the lifted COVID restrictions, but the pool of restaurant workers has significantly declined.  Some speculate many have relied on unemployment benefits for too long, while others think many restaurant workers have decided to abandon the industry altogether due to inadequate wages.  Whatever the reason may be, the fact of the matter is restaurants are struggling to stay open because they cannot find enough employees to run their businesses.  And this is the case for The Homestead Café.

When a business is not making any money, they end up basically giving food away in order to remain open.  Gary Howard has ultimately decided to close down and put the restaurant up for sale.  During the interview, it was obvious that Gary is at the end of his rope in trying to come up with all available solutions to the problem.  With this struggling industry, it is a heavy burden to carry.  Gary is hopeful that someone will see the vision Craig and Gary saw back when they first purchased the restaurant and be able to revive this special Weiser location in the future.  With updates and renovations within the last year, the restaurant has tremendous potential for new owners who have a passion for the food industry. 

Gary wishes to share his heartfelt thanks to his employees who have worked so hard through all the struggles and helped him along the way.  He is so grateful for the crew and cannot fully express the words he wishes to say.  Thank you for everything!

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