Restaurant hopes community social media boost can keep their doors open
AMELIA, Ohio (WXIX) - Stone House Restaurant and Bar opened in Amelia seven months ago. The owners - Candice and Matt Davidson - hope a flood of community well-wishes can keep it from shutting down.
Like many businesses, the Davidsons got a loan to help them get their business started. But rising interest rates have put them on the verge of closing.
“It’s more than doubled our initial payment,” Candice Davidson said.
Candice Davidson made a post on Facebook about the struggles of the restaurant. She was surprised when the community out-pouring led to over 1,000 shares, with many residents encouraging others to start visiting the restaurant and to keep them open.
“It totally gives us hope,” she said. “It was overwhelming. I’m just a person in the community, but there are so many others who are pulling for us and want us to be here, so they’re spreading the word.”
Opening the restaurant was a dream for the couple, something they planned for a while.
“It was super exciting,” Candice Davidson said. “It was something we’ve always wanted to do. My husband will probably not like that I shared this, but we cry every day. It’s hard. We let a lot of people down.”
The restaurant is down to 32 employees after layoffs. As payments continued to rise, so did cuts to staff. Other employees had their hours cut.
“It’s definitely hard especially because we’re a small little group,” kitchen staffer Zane Marsh said. “When you have to lose people that you’re with day in and day out, it’s not just a business decision, it hurts because they’re your friends.”
Employees said the community’s reaction on Facebook gave them a lift as well.
“We’re kind of like a small family here,” Chef Damien Leighton said. “We kind of just want this thing to be able to keep going.”
The Davidsons said they will need all the help they can get. They said they could close in a matter of weeks if they can’t figure things out financially.
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