SUMTER, S.C. — Restaurants across the state continue to feel the affects of the coronavirus with many struggling to adapt to a take-out only model.
In Sumter, the long-awaited grand opening of a new brewery downtown was brought to a halt soon after it started.
"We opened and shut down all in one day," Sumter Original Brewery owner Gray Shuler said.
South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster implemented a dine-in ban earlier this month to try to curb the spread of COVID-19, which is now considered a global pandemic by health experts.
"It has been a little bit of a roller coaster. Obviously, this is not something that we wanted to happen or we expected to happen," Shuler said.
What happened next was perhaps even more unexpected. Shuler says they received an outpouring of support from the community seeking to-go orders.
"I mean, I couldn't ask for better support from the local community. We've just seen just an outpouring of people coming by wanting to try the beer," Shuler said.
They received such a response that they ran out of aluminum cans and had to switch to mason jars, according to Shuler.
It's support that Danielle Thompson, the owner of Hamptons and Side Bar restaurants downtown, says she's also seen.
"The people of Sumter really care and the people really understand the importance of what a difference a person can make and, you know, it's just been very uplifting," Thompson said.
For Shuler, the support is a glimpse of a positive future ahead.
"Due to the support of the community, we're able to keep on moving a little bit," he said.
The Greater Sumter Chamber of Commerce has set up a Facebook page called 'Sumter County, SC Take Out & Delivery Options amid COVID-19' to help connect locals to businesses offering to-go services.
Click here to learn more.