“This is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced in my life,” Tal Callihan said, sitting by an umbrella-shaded table on the otherwise empty patio at Callihan’s American Pub & Grill as area residents practice social distancing and shelter-in-place programs.
For now, the staff at Callihan’s has been scaled back to a handful of longtime employees who are more like family, he said, individually saluting Brittney Campbell, Sara Craig, Chris McCoy, Kyle Coffee Andrew Wheeler, Taylor Metzler and his wife, Sarah, for helping him keep the meals coming from the kitchen.
Most of all, Callihan says he has a need to express his appreciation to the people who keep the orders coming in.
“It’s not just the ordering part. It’s the generosity – tipping the girls … It has just far exceeded expectations,” he said. “I can’t say how much we all appreciate their support and loyalty to make sure we succeed through this.”
“Our customers sit out there on tailgates in the parking lot and eat lunch. They miss us as bad as we miss them. It’s just like family, you know? I’m sure the people at Texas Roadhouse or Melini or any other restaurant know what I’m talking about and feel the same way,” he said.
“What has hurt the most has been not seeing my staff. All these people are like family.”
At the two-week mark, Callihan estimates the restaurant in Cannonsburg is bringing in “one third, maybe a quarter” of it’s usual financial flow.
The Callihan’s team has already adopted strategies for the new way of doing things, he said, noting customers have been extremely receptive to their new “Original Big Box Feast” and other deals offering family-size portions at affordable prices.
“Doing business is always tough. Now, it’s just tougher than ever,” Callihan said, explaining he has spent much time in recent days seeking alternative sources for things like sanitizer, gloves and bags.
“I called Larry Whitt at Ashland General Sales we found a lot there,” he noted.
|Taylor Metzler was all smiles while running orders out to customers at Callihan’s American Pub & Grill last week.|
“The only way to get out of this is to do it all together. This is tough on every business because it’s something we’ve never had to face before. We have to help each other and have each other’s back. There’s a lot of good people out there doing good things too. There’s a lot of good left in the world yet,” he said.
Many of Carter County’s professional musicians have also relied upon Callihan’s American Pub & Grill as a place to depend upon for a place to perform.
“I need to say ‘Thank You’ to all of my musician friends that I’ve supported for 11 years and they’ve supported me,” he said.
Callihan confesses he is personally feeling the strain of the situation.
“Me being close to 57 now … I had to take those last two Sundays off to recuperate,” he said, adding he hopes to possibly bring a couple of part-time employees back in the days ahead.
Callihan’s American Pub & Grill is open from 11 a.m. until 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and may re-open from Noon until 4 or 5 p.m. starting this Sunday. For more information, or to place an order, call (606) 585-0586.
Story and Photos by TIM PRESTON
Carter County Post