MANCHESTER, Conn — As we all know the past year has been extremely tough for the restaurant industry but with restrictions loosening up and more people getting vaccinated there is light at the end of the tunnel.
A Manchester restaurant was forced to almost close its doors this week but with the help of social media things are looking up for the owner.
Shawn Dickensheets has owned 21 Oak in Manchester for nearly seven years. With the pandemic hitting the family-owned business hard he says they were considering closing the doors.
“If this didn't happen today, I wouldn't be open next week,” Dickensheets said. “This is the income for me and my families, you come to work seven days a week, you put your life into it.”
Although first--- him and his wife turned to Facebook--- sharing a post Thursday reading in part:
“...I hate writing things like this, but i know you all care and would rather know now than when it is too late, but 21oak currently has only enough money to maybe stay open one more week. if that. yesterday, we sold two meals the entire 6.5 hours we were open.”
As a result, the very next morning Shawn came into work with 48 orders already placed.
“It was just crazy and then from there the phone rang the online ordering ran, people were coming in,” Dickensheets said.
Since the pandemic began thousands of Connecticut restaurants have had to let go of staff, shorten menus and cut hours.
So when Shawn received such immense support from his Manchester community, he couldn’t believe it.
As more Connecticut residents become vaccinated and as covid restrictions loosen, Shawn says he hopes this is just a sneak peak of what the restaurant industry will return to.
“I want to say thank you so much it means the world to me, the family,” Dickensheets said. “Some days when you're slow, you think people forgot about you, people need to keep coming, not just to my business, but all the businesses that are in the same boat.”
Shawn closed early Friday so he can prepare for what he hopes to be another busy day tomorrow.