The Little Dooey restaurant shares operating changes during pandemic

The Little Dooey in Starkville never closed during the coronavirus pandemic, but instead found ways to keep operating and make necessary changes to help keep people safe.

Posted: Jul 15, 2020 9:25 AM

STARKVILLE, Miss. (WTVA) -- As restaurants continue to find ways to keep their businesses going during the coronavirus pandemic, one community favorite in Starkville shared some of the changes its had to make during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Little Dooey in Starkville never closed during the coronavirus pandemic, but instead found ways to keep operating.

"We were just limited to doing curbside at the time,” owner Bart Wood said, referring to when the pandemic first started back in March.

He said people were scared at the time, and his business took a nosedive. He said his restaurant has been changing in stages over the past three months, and he said it has made a lot of changes for public safety.

In April, the restaurant offered curbside-pickup only. In May and June, business began to pick back up, and dine-in options became available up to fifty percent restaurant capacity.

Following last week’s mandate for Starkville businesses, everyone is required to wear a face mask inside. This includes employees.

Wood said customers can take their masks off to eat, but they must put them back on before getting up.

Wood said employees sanitize chairs, tables, and any touched surfaces regularly. Hand sanitizing stations are also positioned around the restaurant.

“Anything that may have human contact, we try to keep that clean,” Wood said.

Stephen Smith is a first-time customer from Georgia who’s visiting the area. He said he's happy with the restaurant’s procedures.

"I feel completely safe coming here. I think the restaurant in general, particularly this one, has done a really good job of making the patrons feel safe.”

Long-time customer Debra Mason is from Columbus. She said she has been eating at the Little Dooey for around thirty years.

“They’ve always been nice to us, always welcoming,” Mason said.

She said she always takes safety precautions.

”I hear it’s mandatory that you do wear the mask all the time now, but I was doing it all the time anyway,” Mason said.

She said this is the first time she and her husband have eaten at the restaurant since the pandemic began.

“I don’t have fear. I’m not saying it’s not real or anything, I believe it is real, but I don’t have any fear about getting out,” Mason said.

Wood said he’s extremely grateful for his customers, both regular and visiting. He said they are the reason The Little Dooey has been able to keep going.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 309223

Reported Deaths: 7153
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto21005250
Hinds19989411
Harrison17590303
Rankin13388277
Jackson13169243
Madison9965212
Lee9900170
Jones8319161
Forrest7554149
Lauderdale7232237
Lowndes6306144
Lamar614685
Lafayette6081118
Washington5296133
Bolivar4778130
Oktibbeha458097
Panola4461103
Pearl River4447142
Warren4310119
Marshall4302103
Pontotoc417672
Monroe4063132
Union405175
Neshoba4009176
Lincoln3892109
Hancock373785
Leflore3471124
Sunflower332090
Tate325984
Pike3226105
Scott311973
Yazoo305369
Alcorn301566
Itawamba297977
Copiah294365
Coahoma290779
Simpson290486
Tippah285368
Prentiss276659
Marion266479
Leake262473
Wayne261541
Grenada257385
Covington255380
Adams247082
Newton246161
George238947
Winston226181
Tishomingo222867
Jasper220248
Attala213673
Chickasaw205857
Holmes187272
Clay183354
Stone179733
Clarke178177
Tallahatchie176240
Calhoun165632
Yalobusha160236
Smith159734
Walthall131143
Greene129633
Lawrence126823
Noxubee126634
Montgomery125842
Perry125238
Amite121041
Carroll121026
Webster113932
Jefferson Davis105932
Tunica103425
Claiborne101430
Benton97525
Kemper95728
Humphreys94732
Franklin83123
Quitman78916
Choctaw74417
Wilkinson65329
Jefferson64928
Sharkey49817
Issaquena1686
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 522512

Reported Deaths: 10790
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson755371494
Mobile39129799
Madison34124500
Tuscaloosa25408444
Montgomery24059573
Shelby23225242
Baldwin20730302
Lee15638166
Calhoun14358311
Morgan14171273
Etowah13705348
Marshall12012220
Houston10416279
Elmore10024203
Limestone9862148
Cullman9509191
St. Clair9486236
Lauderdale9280233
DeKalb8762183
Talladega8127173
Walker7151276
Autauga6763106
Jackson6762110
Blount6532133
Colbert6236132
Coffee5436113
Dale4781111
Russell431239
Franklin421382
Chilton4130110
Covington4069115
Tallapoosa3922148
Escambia390374
Dallas3528150
Chambers3519122
Clarke347360
Marion3076100
Pike306676
Lawrence296395
Winston273272
Bibb256761
Marengo248561
Geneva246475
Pickens233259
Barbour227155
Hale218675
Butler213268
Fayette209660
Henry188444
Cherokee182744
Randolph177841
Monroe173140
Washington165538
Macon156548
Clay150255
Crenshaw149557
Cleburne147041
Lamar140034
Lowndes137353
Wilcox124727
Bullock122040
Conecuh109728
Perry107726
Sumter103332
Coosa99428
Greene91434
Choctaw58824
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Sunshine should bring continued warmth into your Tuesday. But going into the night, a cold front approaches. This will bring a quick round of light to moderate showers overnight and a late-season frost that could damage or kill sensitive plants.
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