Local bartender acts to bring relief to bar's uncertain future

The Gridiron Grill and Tap House is one of many bars that was forced to close their doors.

Posted: Apr 19, 2020 5:39 PM
Updated: Apr 19, 2020 5:44 PM

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. -- Local bars and restaurants are scrambling to find security after effects from the shutdown have taken a toll on business operations.

The Gridiron Grill and Tap House is one of many bars that was forced to close their doors by March 17, following Governor Kate Brown’s order.

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Derrick Bryant is a bartender at the Gridiron Grill and Taphouse in Springfield. He, along with a co-worker, created a GoFundMe page to gain support from the community, hopefully allowing the bar to reopen when the time comes.

“My owner did what he was supposed to do right away,” Bryant said. “He applied for the CARES Act and SBA loan. All he’s heard is that he’s on a waiting list.”

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On Friday, the bar found out that loan applications were no longer being accepted, as the U.S. Small Business Administration ran out of the funds that many businesses hoped to receive through the Paycheck Protection Program.

Bryant said that the money from the fundraiser will be used to take care of necessary bills that come as a challenge, due to not receiving funding by the SBA.

“The money doesn't go to the employees,” Bryant said. “It goes to this bar to pay the bills, to get food back in here, to pay the taxes on it and to make up for lost revenue. We can't just sit idle. We have to do something.”

Bryant said that the customers and staff at the bar are like family, and he says his owner is the type of person one wants to work hard for.

“He’s a great man,” Bryant said. “He’s helped probably every person that worked here out and probably half our regular guests. He’s done something in one way or another.”

Bryant encourages businesses to take care of another and to be smart with money they are given.

“It is a hard time for everybody and all companies,” Bryant said. “Especially the bar and restaurant industry, because some may never reopen. We’re doing whatever we can to make sure the Gridiron Grill on 28th and Main Street opens.”

The GoFundMe for Gridiron Grill and Tap House can be accessed here.

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