COLONIAL HEIGHTS, Va. -- For more than a decade, Benny's Tavern has served bar food, beer, and spirits along The Boulevard in Colonial Heights.
“Then the pandemic happened," employee Mary Allen said.
Faced with limited hours and capacity due to statewide COVID safety rules, Benny's had to make a drastic change in order to keep the doors open.
“When there’s no revenue coming in and we’re paying all the bills still, impossible to keep a full staff," co-owner Benny Scoble said.
That is why, for the last five weeks, while Benny’s Tavern is closed in the morning, Loaded Donut Shop is open for business.
The bar is now a doughnut shop.
"We didn’t run across any bar selling fresh donuts at all," Scoble said about the transition. “We’re already paying rent, we already have a kitchen, why not do something for breakfast?"
Loaded Donuts is Benny's way to bring in cash and bring back employees.
“We employed five full-time and three part-timers," Scoble said. "Getting [them] back on their feet was hugely important to us."
“A lot of us wouldn’t have had this job, we would still be at home, trying to figure out how to make ends meet, so this helped out quite a few of us," Mary Allen added.
“I think it's awesome," customer Jackie Stuller said. "We’ve had to adapt in so many different ways this past year, especially with businesses like the bars."