TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) — Local restaurants are starting to feel the effects the coronavirus is having on their businesses, leaving many like Mitch McKamey, owner of Kermit's Outlaw Kitchen and The Neon Pig Cafe, to wonder about the future of their businesses.
McKamey opened Kermit's Outlaw Kitchen in 2012.
"We have never been in anything like this before," said McKamey.
With the coronavirus tightening its grip on the country every day, Mayor Jason Shelton says the city of Tupelo will follow Governor Tate Reeves' requirement for restaurants to limit dining services to less than 10 people, including staff and offer drive through and curbside delivery.
But even with profits from curbside delivery, McKamey says it just wasn't enough and he was concerned about the health and safety of his employees. So he decided to close his restaurant indefinitely.
McKamey says closing will put him in the hole around $13,000 each month.
"I don't know how bad the long-term impact will be," explained McKamey.
Line cook Danae Parker says the restaurant's closing has been hard for everyone.
"It's been stressful. It makes me antsy that I don't have work to go to and I'm not in school," said Parker.
McKamey's other restaurant, The Neon Pig, is split into two sides — a cafe on one side and a grocery store that sells locally-sourced meat on the other.
While McKamey says the grocery side has been selling out product as locals stock up for the coming months, it doesn't make up for lost business at the cafe.
McKamey says he will reevaluate the where the pandemic is in May before he considers reopening. But he adds the loss of profit is still worth it.
"I don't care if it takes everything as long as the people I love, it doesn't take them," said McKamey.