‘It was hard’: restaurant owner makes difficult decision to close permanently

Henrico County

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — As dozens of restaurants around Central Virginia permanently close, owner of Sandston Smokehouse recently had to make the same decision.

In the now empty Sandston Smokehouse on Williamsburg Road in Sandston, owner of the restaurant, Bobby Haller, stacks boxes and turns off the lights as he shuts down the restaurant.

Bobby Haller has owned the smokehouse for three years and says business was going well at both his restaurant and food truck for quite some time, until the pandemic hit and fewer people were going out to eat.

“We understand people don’t have money to buy out all the time,” said Haller. “We were used to that for May, June into July…but then it continued to get worse.”

Sales dropped drastically and there weren’t as many customers…an outcome so many restaurants across the nation have seen. Bobby says it’s been sad to see how the coronavirus has made such an impact on our everyday lives and economy, not just health.

“This virus has been more than just the medical side,” said Haller. “It’s closed business. It has been extremely hard on people with mental health.”

Though Haller feels defeated in this difficult time, he says his fight is far from over and plans to make a comeback with his restaurant in some form.

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