LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — When LEX 18 first spoke to Joe Bologna back in April, he was hopeful his decades of experience in the restaurant business would help him weather the pandemic.
"I still enjoy working. I still enjoy working with the kids, and hopefully, we'll work hard and get to our 50th anniversary, " Bologna said.
Eight months down the line and multiple setbacks later, maybe it is the fact that they are housed in a 19th-century church building, or perhaps it is that experience, he is keeping the faith.
"This is a once in a lifetime experience, and I plan on working, and wherever it comes out, it comes out, it's a part of life, " Bologna explained.
Right now, Joe Bologna said they are only doing curbside and carryout. Typically, that is just 10% of their business, but now it is their bread and butter. He said the Maxwell Street pizza joint was down about 50% in revenue compared to this time last year, but he knows bouncing back is possible.
Bologna explained, "You know nobody knows the end of this, but I figure you gotta plan on it being longer than shorter and adjust now."
Bologna said the money from the SBA loan he got lasted about eight weeks. He said for his Lexington institution to survive or any other independently owned restaurant, they need more assistance.
"Without it, most independent restaurants, other restaurant owners I talk to, and I myself, they wouldn't make it through the winter, " Bologna said.
Almost more than the money coming through the door, Bologna said he misses the faces. People he has served for decades that he now has not seen in months.
"I just want to tell them that we're thinking about them, and we'll be glad when things get back to normal, and we'll get back to seeing them again, " Bologna said. "I'm sure when this is all over, we'll be at 110%. I think we'll be busier than ever."
Joe Bologna's is currently offering curbside and carryout services, including family meal options. Click here to view their menu.