SULLIVAN, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) – Patrick’s Restaurant & Bowl has reopened their bowling alley after a three month hiatus due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Like many business owners across the country, Patrick Sparks has adjusted to a new way of doing business. He recounted what they’ve done to create a safe environment for bowlers.
“When bowlers come in if they’re not carrying their own ball or whatever we have house balls here we tell them to pick out the ball you want bring it to the counter we’ll sanitize it for you and you’ll sanitize your own hands and then also to social distance a little bit if you have a group come in we’ll put a lane in between all of our groups that aren’t grouped together so that we’ve got a little distancing about 50 percent there to keep that distance but most people are ready just to get out and do stuff so I don’t know how well that’s going to work,” he said.
As far as the restaurant people have started to come back for dining and Sparks says they are close to a full staff after a few of the employees had to file for unemployment. The biggest challenge he says is dealing with uncertainty. “Just the unknown you know trying to make decisions on stuff you don’t know about trying to plan things when you don’t know what the government is going to come out and change on you so you don’t know exactly just the unknown of the whole thing you know,” he said.
As you can imagine that has an impact on the bottom line, Patrick’s catering service has also seen a big drop since most large events have been canceled or are on hold. “Of course the financial hardship you know you’re just down from business and your expenses some of them are less but most of them are still there you know you have your fixed expenses of mortgage and all that,” he said.
While we are not in the clear yet Sparks hopes there are better days ahead, and an eventual return to normalcy. “I sure hope so I mean I don’t want this to be the new normal and I think most people don’t want it to be either so hopefully we’ll get through this and get back to a regular normal is what I call it the way it was before.”