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Greenfield restaurant forced to close after mandatory shut down

Posted at 7:35 AM, Jul 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-22 07:35:41-04

GREENFIELD — Almost every small business in Indiana had to shut their doors temporarily because of the mandates put in place at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. And many restaurants are still working on climbing out of that hole, while others are shutting their doors permanently.

Blood, sweat, tears, and knick-knacks have filled "Florida Cracker BBQ" for the last eight years, but now, because of the impact of the coronavirus, they have to close their doors.

"Reading all of the social media stuff my dad said that it was like reading his own obituary," said Jeffrey Clifford, he's been running the restaurant his dad opened eight years ago.

Earlier this week, Clifford announced on Facebook, Florida Cracker BBQ would be closing its doors permanently in August.

"To see this close is not what any of us wanted might feel like we've done everything we can to stay open you know we've gone from 15 or so employees down to about four and I've been working 80 hours a week just to try to keep us alive," said Clifford.

He said it's hard to see the business go.

"I mean my daughter was the first customer back before I thought I would come back into the business at all you know the hog on the wall I killed when I was nine my dad's first restaurant pictures are over there I've got pictures on my grandparents on the wall that have deceased my brothers on the wall and so it's tough to see it go, but at the same time we know that it's the right timing for it," said Clifford.

He told me the impact of the governor's mandated shutdown plus the restrictions on gatherings has been severe, especially for this small town business that relies on big catering orders.

"Throughout COVID we've actually maintained our daily level of sales except for those first couple of weeks it's just you know you lose a 3rd of the business segment an it's, I mean, our profit margins are in the pennies, and we've lost quarters," said Clifford.

Florida BBQ plans to stay open until the end of August. They want to thank all of their customers who have come in over the last eight years.

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