COLUMBUS, Ohio — It’s been a long road back for Scioto Mile restaurant Milestone 229 and co-owner Doug Griggs.
The restaurant originally closed in March due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Then in late May, a few days from reopening, Griggs was inside as protesters broke windows and looted the restaurant.
“When I came down and saw the extent of it, we had a lot of people come down to clean up. And then it was really sad. You’re not thinking about being closed and the money you lost, just that they tore up your place. It would be like your house got tore up,” Griggs said.
Milestone 229 had $70,000 worth of structural damage, and nearly $20,000 worth of front signage still needs to be replaced.
“We knew that we would be able to bounce back and that the protests were for the right things. And we took the stance that the business will recover and we’ll circle around to it,” said General Manager Danielle Good.
Griggs said the protest damage, coupled with the COVID-19 outbreak, has hurt business a lot, especially since they rely heavily on seasonal outdoor patio traffic.
“Our business really starts at the end of March, through first of September so, we’re going to try and get what we can out of the summer,” Griggs said.
But from social distancing measures to welcoming back loyal patrons, everyone is still trying to make the best out of this unprecedented chain of events.
“Summertime, it’s beautiful outside, and I’m glad that everybody that works here can be back here to so they can make money and try to recover,” said patron William Geary.
And while the concern of increasing COVID-19 across Franklin County is a concern to Griggs, he’s thankful for all the community outreach.
“Many, many regulars, people that checked on us, wanting to know when we were going to open. Business level yesterday was a little bit better than last year. Depending on what happens, we’re optimistic,” Griggs said.