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We're Open Indy: Wolfies owner focuses on keeping staff employed

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Posted at 8:45 PM, Mar 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-26 20:45:45-04

In a time when we can't all gather around a table, we can still come together as a community. We're Open Indy is a partnership between WRTV and our local restaurants and businesses with one goal: getting them through this tough time. Every day, we will help shine a light on the businesses that make up our community by telling their stories and rallying around those who are keeping the grills going, the hospitals running, and the businesses operating.

INDIANAPOLIS — On a normal night at Wolfies Grill in Geist, beer would be flowing from the taps. These days, there aren't any drinks being poured.

Instead of serving food and drinks, employees at Wolfies are spending time cleaning and preparing for a time when the empty tables are once again filled with customers.

"We're doing carryout food at lunch time, make some tips off that as well," Jeffrey Newsom, a day shift bartender, said. "It just gives you a chance to refocus and get set up for the summer and hopefully have a busy season."

Newsom is one of more than 300 employees at the seven different restaurants owner Scott Wolf and his wife are trying to keep employed.

"It's a challenge with limited service," Wolf said. "We are trying to do everything we can. If somebody was a cook for us and they were a painter before we are using them to paint."

The goal is to stay open for as long as possible. In Geist, employees are now delivering carryout orders and curbside delivery is helping keep the restaurant open.

"It's a nice, beautiful day so we could ride our bike to it and it's close and it get us out of the house for a little bit," Jeff Mathey, a customer who ordered carryout, said.

Wolf said only 10 employees have filed for unemployment and he's hopeful the stimulus package the U.S. House of Representatives is set to vote on Friday will be passed for employees and small businesses that need it.

"The way I understand it they will give us low-rate SBA loans if we need those to help get through these times," Wolf said. "If we don't have to we can let other people. That would be our goal."

Wolf said while it's been challenging, it has brought his team closer together. He said he's looking forward to the day when boats are back on the water and customers once again fill the empty seats.

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