djr-2021-02-19-news-storm-restaurantsp1

Icy weather has kept Romie’s restaurant on West Jackson Street in Tupelo closed all week. But owner Rob Lesley said he hopes to reopen Friday night.

TUPELO Several locally owned restaurants have been shuttered since snow and ice pelted the Tupelo area early this week, and they’re itching to reopen their doors.

Romie’s restaurant and its sister business, Sugar Daddy Bake Shop, have both been closed due to the inclement weather, said owner Rob Lesley.

“We don’t know about our food trucks – suppliers – and when they’re going to be able to get out,” Lesley said. “But we also don’t want to be open because we don’t want to encourage people to get out onto the roads.”

Lesley is hoping streets will be clear enough to open Romie’s restaurant on Friday night, but the bakery will take a little longer.

“At Sugar Daddy, the girls can’t drive in this, and I don’t want them to take the risk,” he said. “We’ve had to cancel all our orders for the week. Hopefully, the bakery will open back up Tuesday. I feel like if we opened now, people would come, but it’s my responsibility as a business owner to keep my employees safe.”

Vivian Lee, owner of Weezie’s Deli, said her restaurant hasn’t been open this week because her staff can’t drive to work on the icy roads.

“Our food trucks have been able to run,” Lee said. “But we postponed our next delivery to Monday, the 22nd.”

Lee said her clientele is a bit older, and those folks are more careful about not getting out.

“We’re planning to reopen on Monday,” she said. “We’ll have our full team, plus a couple of extra employees. We’re hoping to have a big day.”

Natasha Chen, whose parents own China Capital restaurant, said the business has been closed all week because the family lives in Itawamba County and hasn’t been able to get into Tupelo.

“We’ve been stuck inside the house,” Chen said. “We went outside at first and played in the snow a little with my son, but that got old.”

Chen said China Capital plans to reopen Monday with business as usual – and that means take-out only, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’re still take-out for now,” she said. “One day – hopefully later this year – we can open our doors back up.”

Lesley said restaurants have been used to having to go with the flow since the pandemic struck this time last year.

“This weather is just a little hiccup,” Lesley said. “Nothing surprises us in the restaurant industry.”

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