Local restaurants struggling under Monroe County water boil advisory

Monroe water advisory is hurting businesses

Bolingbroke is the home of Miss Hattie's, a mom and pop restaurant, that brings in customers from all around to enjoy some southern cooking, even catching the attention of Paula Deen.

But with the Monroe boil water advisory in effect, business has been less than ideal.

Nicole Butler met up with the owner about how a few days of closing has impacted her restaurant.

In the restaurant business, "When you're cooking, just about everything has water going into it," owner, Elaine Thomas says.

Miss Hattie's has been open for six years, and Thomas says they have never had to close down, that is until two days ago when Monroe County announced the water boiling advisory. 

It didn't concern her with her cooking, normally boiling their water anyway. However, without clean water, her staff are unable to wash their hands.

Until the advisory is lifted, Thomas as no choice but to close up shop.

"It's very scary when you see the cash register not dinging and you know you still have bills to pay," she says.

Thomas says losing almost half a week's income is detrimental to her restaurant.

"Any typical mom and pop restaurant every day is a day to day survival. It's not like the mega bucks are coming in, so every dollar is important to us," she says.

She says she wants to make every customer feel like they are at grandma's house when they sit down to a plate full of her southern cooking, so turning them away is hard on her heart and on customers' stomachs.

"This is bad for me because I miss now two days of lunch, and I don't have enough time to go somewhere now and eat because this affected everyone in this area, so I'll just have to go to the service station and buy a bag of chips," customer Don Stanley says.

Thomas says she hopes to be up and running again by the weekend, and that mom and pop businesses will need the community's support to find their footing again after this hard time. 

The county hopes to lift the advisory as soon as possible, but until then, they are asking people to conserve water during this time.

© 2017 WMAZ-TV


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