Grandin restaurant workers hopeful as football season returns amid COVID-19 pandemic

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ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — While football fans are delighted to cheer their favorite team on to victory, local businesses are hopeful that football will be their key to success amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“We waited long enough, and I’m ready to get going here, yup it’s part of the best thing that happened in 2020,” said football fans John Breslin and Lindsay King.

“It’s good to have it back,” Jacob Naff, a Washington Football Team fan, said. “A return to normalcy, things you’re looking forward to every fall, and you were almost scared that it wasn’t going to happen, but it’s here, and I’m glad it’s back.”

While many are excited that football season is back, it wasn’t always fun and games for local restaurants for the past few months.

“We had to shut down for those three months, and that was a little hard for all of us,” said All Sports Cafe manager, Jordyn Patterson.

“I don’t think anybody expected ever for this thing to happen,” Grace’s Place Pizzeria’s manager, Ruben Liendo, said. “COVID has been a wake-up call, and for a small business it’s hard.”

Now that this fall favorite is back, restaurant workers are hopeful.

“Thankfully, we were able to come back, and it was slow at first, but we are picking up gradually as sports come back,” said Patterson.

“We are hoping to gain more business with a football season,” Liendo said.

Grace’s Place Pizzeria has been around for 17 years. They’ve had their ups and downs, but they say their key to their success is their loyal customers.

“Our loyal customers and people, in general, have been supportive to keep us alive and help keep our door open. It’s been a hard time,” said Liendo.

As people pick up their pizza and chow down on their chicken wings, one thing is for sure: no matter what team you are rooting for, it’s nice to have football back amid the pandemic.

“When it started, we didn’t know how long it was going to last, and it just kept getting pushed back. I was getting worried about it at first, but we’re back,” Breslin said.

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