VILLAGE OF ALLOUEZ, Wis (NBC 26) -- It was three months ago when NBC26 started sharing the stories of businesses across northeast Wisconsin who are still managing to make ends meet during this pandemic. In this edition of We're Open, we take you back to one of our first visits to a restaurant for an update.
For 32-years Zesty's Frozen Custard and Grill has been giving their neighbors a comfy, throwback to the 1960's atmosphere in their dining room. It's a place to nestle up to some comfort food with friends and take it all in surrounded by the restaurant's old school decor. But since the pandemic, much has changed including the number of people who are visiting.
"The sports teams gathered here after games... with them not having sports at night we're not seeing any of that," says Janelle French the co-owner of Zesty's Frozen Custard.
Today French's dining room in the village of Allouez remains closed, as staff and customers begin the process of gauging their comfort levels.
"Just because with people eating inside you're putting your staff at a whole new risk then," says French.
French also oversees two other Zesty's in the Green Bay area, and just three weeks ago she began allowing customers back into her stores for customers to place orders in-person.
"They're happy it's open. They don't have to sit on the phone for 20 minutes to make an order. So I think they like to come in and make orders."
And while the dining room in Allouez once had the allure of charm and comfort, today French has discovered that because this location isn't designed for curbside or drive-thru service it's become the hardest hit location.
"The Allouez location, without the drive-thru, is down quite a bit. Not quite half but almost," says French describing sales.
For now, customers can take their food outside, find a spot to crack into that comfort and continue pulling for their hometown custard shop. A shop that French is hopeful will be here for years to come.
"We always have one store that struggles a little bit so we just link everything together, and try to keep everybody employed," says French.