Local restaurant owners make tough decisions to close during coronavirus

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.

Posted: Mar 28, 2020 9:41 PM
Updated: Mar 28, 2020 10:19 PM

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.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 14790

Reported Deaths: 710
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds95924
Lauderdale71358
Madison69422
Scott63010
Neshoba58937
Jones56622
Forrest52338
DeSoto5036
Leake40012
Rankin3856
Holmes38524
Jackson30313
Copiah2904
Attala28415
Newton2564
Monroe25225
Leflore25130
Lincoln25024
Harrison2477
Lamar2315
Yazoo2274
Pearl River20631
Pike20311
Adams19015
Lowndes1899
Noxubee1736
Washington1667
Warren1597
Bolivar15411
Wayne1540
Oktibbeha15411
Jasper1524
Smith14511
Covington1431
Clarke13818
Kemper13611
Chickasaw13012
Lafayette1274
Lee1245
Carroll11511
Coahoma1144
Marion1149
Clay1084
Winston1051
Lawrence1021
Simpson950
Hancock8711
Wilkinson859
Yalobusha855
Grenada853
Itawamba847
Montgomery811
Union805
Sunflower783
Jefferson Davis772
Marshall773
Tate741
Tippah7111
Claiborne692
Panola643
Calhoun634
Webster611
Humphreys587
Amite561
Tunica533
Walthall520
Perry503
Prentiss423
Jefferson400
Choctaw342
Stone300
Pontotoc293
Tishomingo280
Franklin282
Tallahatchie261
Quitman250
George211
Benton150
Alcorn141
Greene91
Sharkey70
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 16823

Reported Deaths: 605
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Mobile2124112
Jefferson1712100
Montgomery154134
Tuscaloosa67813
Marshall6689
Lee53332
Franklin5147
Shelby48419
Tallapoosa41864
Butler39213
Chambers34924
Madison3184
Elmore3137
Walker2991
Baldwin2819
Etowah24411
Dallas2443
DeKalb2413
Morgan2311
Coffee2241
Lowndes22210
Sumter2136
Autauga2053
Houston1884
Bullock1833
Pike1790
Colbert1612
Russell1590
Marengo1556
Lauderdale1532
Calhoun1523
Hale1517
Choctaw1488
Wilcox1347
Barbour1321
Clarke1292
Randolph1257
Marion11911
St. Clair1161
Pickens1014
Talladega1003
Dale990
Chilton971
Cullman960
Greene924
Limestone870
Winston820
Covington771
Jackson752
Crenshaw722
Bibb711
Henry712
Macon712
Washington666
Blount581
Escambia493
Lawrence460
Geneva400
Conecuh351
Coosa351
Monroe352
Perry350
Cherokee342
Clay272
Lamar210
Fayette130
Cleburne131
Unassigned00
Tupelo
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