By Charlotte Smith
The latest North Carolina Department of Health & Human Services has the total COVID-19 cases in the state at 763 as of 11:40 a.m. on March 27, but there are no confirmed cases of the Coronavirus in Bladen County. Although everyone in Bladen County is being encouraged to stay home, the Governor has yet to make an official order to “shelter in place.”
Last week, the North Carolina Governor’s Executive Order restricting dine-in and outdoor seating changed many routines in the area. George Boussias, owner of Giorgio’s Restaurant and Pizza located at 502 South Poplar Street in Elizabethtown, said he is thankful for the support from the community.
This year marks 30 years the local Italian restaurant has served Bladen County, NC. The new government guidelines for restaurants has some business owners implementing new policies and procedures.
Boussias said he put the Centers for Disease Control Coronavirus Guidelines in place before the Governor issued the executive order for restaurants.
“We are making sure there is frequent handwashing, gloves are worn, and we keep everything wiped down,” Boussias said, “We are all healthy. If anyone is not feeling well, they stay home.”
He added, “So far, so good, we are thankful for the drive-through window and take out. We are trying to keep people employed.”
The Town of Elizabethtown released a report on Tuesday listing some businesses in the area offering carry-out and delivery.
Mayor Sylvia Campbell said, “We have relaxed a lot of our zoning requirements like the drive-through restrictions. We have also been calling to check on them to see if we may be of any help to them.”
According to Town Manager Eddie Madden, several restaurants were provided pop-up blue tents and signage to be placed outside their doors in an accessible parking area based on their ability to serve from a place that people could drive up and purchase their orders.
“Several of our fast-food places already have drive-thru windows, and they appear to be doing well,” Madden said. “We wanted to help those restaurants that depend on foot traffic in the downtown area who have adequate space for curbside pick-up to occur.”
The Elizabethtown-White Lake Area Chamber of Commerce listed take-out and delivery options in the two towns.
Since the chamber’s report about the restaurants, San Jose Restaurant announced they deliver to the Elizabethtown and White Lake areas.
“We miss all our customers and we are so very thankful for the support,” Fernando, manager at San Jose’s stated.
Cindy’s Restuarant, also in Elizabethtown, located on highway 701 stated they are offering curbside service as well. The owner, Cindy, stated, “The restaurant is adhering to CDC guidelines.”
She added, “Call 910-862-6260 or come by and order!”
Cape Fear Vineyard & Winery announced they are back with a limited menu and a rotating family style menu. Available for take out, curbside, or delivery! Call 910 247-6587 to place your order.
Two others in Elizabethtown are offering food services. Dominos is offering carry-out and delivery options. Contact them at 910-872-0907. Pizza Hut is offering drive-thru and delivery options, call 910-862-2559 for assistance.
In Bladenboro, Mayor Rufus Duckworth reported the Chinese restaurant has closed, but other restaurants are providing services. He stated, “The people in Bladenboro have been really good. The restaurants like Diamond Daves, Benson Grill, Dove’s, Hardee’s, and Subway are all practicing the guidelines put in place.”
Benson Grill is located at 1112 W. Seaboard Street in Bladenboro, and the number there is (910) 863-3695.
Diamond Daves is located 115 Main Street, Bladenboro, and their phone number (910) 863-3212.
It is essential to support local businesses at this difficult time. Some may be offering gift certificates as well.