Florence restaurant opens amid pandemic

Florence restaurant opens amid pandemic

FLORENCE, Ala. (WAFF) - Coronavirus has been tough on restaurant owners and their employees all over the country.

A new restaurant in Florence was supposed to open in April.

They pushed that back due to the COVID-19 outbreak, but now they are now forging ahead.

Despite obvious hurdles, Esther's Eatery is moving along.

The build-your-own food bar opened on June 2.

Its initial grand opening date was pushed back due to the coronavirus.

"It's been pretty good. We weren't sure what to expect but the community has been awesome, and the feedback has been great, and we're really happy that people have excited about the new concept," said Celeste Pillow.

Pillow is the owner and says that coronavirus wasn't the first bump in the road in their opening.

"It wasn't a huge shock because we've already had all of these hiccups. It was just another drop in the bucket,” said Pillow.

Still, when the doors of the eatery finally opened, it was a relief.

"It's been a light to be able to open and see the love that's still there," said Pillow.

Right now, Esther's Eatery offers curbside, carry-out, and allows their patrons to eat outside to maintain social distancing.

Katie Wakefield ate at the eatery for lunch for the first time and she only said one thing.

"It was delicious. I loved it."

Esther’s Eatery was also helped along by the city of Florence.

The restaurant received one of the Florence First Grants that were offered to help businesses survive the pandemic.

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