JONES COUNTY, Ga. — Restaurants took a hit during the pandemic and many are still hurting, including one in Jones County that says it's closing due to higher prices and low supplies.
Allen Thomas is a Grubb and Stuff regular.
"I'm here just about every day that she's open, and I come almost twice a day," he said.
It's been that way since 2019 when their doors first opened on Gray Highway.
"I really enjoy it. The food is good and Jen... she's like a second mama to me. She always takes care of me when I come in here," said Thomas.
He's talking about restaurant owner Jennifer Gay.
"It was always a dream to open my own restaurant. Our first year, we did really good," she said.
Then, in 2020, the COVID pandemic hit them hard. Gay says they powered through, but it wasn't an easy ride.
"[It was] very difficult, but we stayed open by doing casseroles and doing what we could. We had big support," said Gay.
Now, at the end of 2021, they've decided to shut their doors -- for good.
"We're having problems finding to-go cups, to-go silverware, Styrofoam. Styrofoam is a big thing right now; you can't get your hands on it," said Gay.
She says prices have increased a lot.
"Prices are awful. Food prices. I'm traveling trying to get food and doing pretty much everything I can to keep the doors open. When it starts cutting into your own personal money, it's time to move on," said Gay.
She says this is the reality for a lot of small restaurant owners right now because people are still hurting from the pandemic.
"This is what I've always wanted to do and it's hard, you know? You get so used to your customers and you fall in love with them," she said.
Gay says the restaurant wouldn't have lasted this long without them.
Grubb and Stuff will be open for the rest of the week and she's asking people to stop by and say hello before they close. They're located at 2668 Gray Highway near the Bibb-Jones County line.