Wildwood Tavern co-owner speaks on the business closing due to COVID-19 concerns

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FLORENCE, Ala. — East Mobile Street in downtown Florence is a little quieter these days. One business closed its doors days before Governor Kay Ivey ordered that restaurants and bars prohibit indoor dining. Tyler Ross, co-owner of Wildwood Tavern in Florence, made that decision with the health and safety of employees and customers in mind.

“We shut down, actually first in town,” said Ross. “We felt strongly that was the right thing to do and we were already shut down by the time that happened, but I think it woke a lot of people up, that the government handled it the way they should have handled it.”

Ross said that the public has been supportive and reaction to the shutdown has been positive. “Everyone was pretty much on the boat of ‘Thank you for doing this, we’re going to miss y’all, this will be tough, but we really appreciate the steps you’re taking,’” he said.

The shutdown has created a new normal for Wildwood bartender Zack Kimbrough.

“I went from having these big plans and kind of having my budget set out with that money in mind and that kind of threw a wrench into everything,” said Kimbrough.

His cat Luna is also adjusting to him being home more often.

“Luna, she’s a little wild card,” said Kimbrough. “She’s actually being weirder than usual, however, one of the things I am trying to do since — I am leash training her and harness training her.”

Ross said his biggest hope in this situation is that we flatten the curve. He said as a nation, the best thing we can do is take care of the problem now so we can get better and get back to normal.

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