RINCON, Ga. (WTOC) - While many businesses have struggled in recent months due to COVID-19, one restaurant in Rincon had an added challenge to cope with; the fact that they’re basically brand new.
Riley’s Casual Dining in Rincon opened their doors for the first time back on St. Patrick’s Day.Then just days later.
“We got the notice Friday afternoon that we could no longer allow anyone in our dining room,” said owner Brandy Riley.
Certainly, a setback for the new restaurant owner.
“It was tough, I mean, it was upsetting.”
But for Brandy, who left a 15-year career at Gulfstream behind to pursue this dream, giving up was never an option.
“I mean if you’re going to do something you have to go all in, and I was all in. So, we just punched forward and did what we had to, to make it work.”
Of course, it was no easy task.
“Basically, had to train our staff to prepare for that because we were prepared to serve at tables we were not prepared to do take out and to-go,” said Riley.
But they adjusted.
Brandy now feeling they’re stronger because of it.
“It was tough some days, but we absolutely pulled together as a team. We have a really good group in here.”
As much as Brandy credits her team with helping navigate these difficult times, she knows they aren’t the only reason Riley’s has made it.
“I really believe that if we had opened this in Pooler there’s no way, we would have made it through. Effingham County is the reason we survived.”
A community built on lifting others up no matter the situation.
“I think that overall, they truly want to see us be successful and they showed up on our doorsteps to make sure that happened.”
Riley’s is now serving dine-in customers as well, but they are following all the restrictions.
Cutting capacity from 325 down to 90.
Sanitizing, wearing masks and gloves and maintaining social distancing.
But of course, if you aren’t ready to dine in you can still get takeout food as well.