Sandy Springs restaurant owners' asking public to help keep doors open

A metro Atlanta restaurant has just days to raise thousands of dollars to keep their employees working.

The Sandy Springs eatery is one of the many restaurants still struggling to survive in this pandemic.

The owners have now asking the public to help keep the lights on.

APRON + LADLE has been serving up breakfast and lunch, since late 2019,  just before the pandemic began. One of the owners said, in order to keep serving up made-to-order dishes, they need to raise $33,000 by Monday.

"The food is unique in that it isn't frozen," Customer Brenda Taylor said. "It isn't canned."

In just a little more than a year, the restaurant picked up a loyal customer base.

"They set such a nice atmosphere for their customers," Taylor said.

"We were literally on a one-hour wait, one and a half hour wait on the weekends to get in,"  co-owner Nikitas Panagopoulos said.

But since COVID-19 began to spread across Georgia, Panagopoulos said sales have dropped drastically.

At one point, down to just 20 percent.

With more people getting vaccinated and a decline in COVID-19 cases recently, Panagopoulos told FOX 5 News sales are now at about 50 percent.

"We still paying 100 percent rent and that's been tough. We've been put on notice," he explained.

The family-run eatery is behind on their rent here at the City Walk shopping center on Sandy Springs Place NE.

They've received city and federal grants but it's not enough.

"We had like six chefs and cooks in the kitchen, seven staff in the kitchen. Now we are down three and three and it's really affected us," Panagopoulos described.

In order to keep their staff working, the owners put their pride away and reached out to the community for help.

They've started this fundraiser to pay their past due rent and rent for March.

"We just don't know the next step from here," he said.

FOX 5 reported on several other metro Atlanta restaurants needing to fundraise in order to keep their kitchens running.

According to the National Restaurant Association,  more than 110,000 restaurants have closed due to the deadly virus.

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