LYNCHBURG, Va. – The Water Dog in downtown Lynchburg was named 2019′s Restaurant of the Year by the Virginia Restaurant, Lodging and Travel Association. But even for the top dog of the Hill City, a pandemic like this calls for an adjustment.
The restaurant is usually buzzing, whether people are trying out the oyster bar or their 36 draft brews. It’s obviously a lot quieter now, which is admittedly tough on owner, Dave Henderson.
"Not seeing our friends, family and our patrons that come in every single day like they have for the past 3-4 years, it’s been a struggle for me personally.”
And it all happened in an instant. When Henderson got word of the stay-at-home order, he, "...came in here and asked the team to basically stop what they’re doing. We’re not opening the restaurant.”
He wasn’t alone, which is why Henderson got together what he calls a coalition of downtown restaurant owners.
Suddenly, they had more dogs in the fight against COVID-19. What each restaurant has learned is that, “Right now, every order matters,” says Henderson.
What he also realizes is that you don’t just become restaurant of the year by playing it simple. So long as they’ve got the inventory, you can order off the full menu.