By: Ray Duckler, Concord Monitor
At the Foothills of Warner restaurant, the steps out front lead to a porch with inviting old-style wooden rocking chairs and signs that read “Breakfast All Day” and “A Taste of Home.”
Inside, though, the stools that kids once spun on while waiting for waffles and hot chocolate, the ones that line the long, narrow counter up front, are not spinning these days.
It’s dark in there, like many other small businesses across the country that have closed under the weight of COVID-19.
For many local merchants, curb-side pickup and takeout orders and federal grants have simply failed to keep them up and running. The enemy is too resilient, too crafty, showing that a cohesive defense is desperately needed to stamp it out.
In Warner, Schoodacs and its mouth-watering baked goods also closed, although its owner, Darryl Parker, announced on Facebook last month that he’s sold his business and the new boss will be named soon. The new business name, too.
Deb Moore owned the Foothills restaurant with her husband, Ron, for 16 years.
“We run such a tight margin here that it’s going to be very difficult,” Moore said before closing in mid-July.
The loss of these traditional landmarks alters the town’s old-feel personality of wooden railings and porches and homemade signs, and the image reminiscent of a drawing from the Saturday Evening Post.
And this Main Street USA, certainly less than a mile long, somehow has offered a smorgasbord of entertainment – painting; acoustic music; Children’s programs; dance; museums; an outdoor amphitheater, sunken low, surrounded by steep grasslands; the Warner Fall Foliage Festival; the food, the food and the food.
The Foothills played a big role in all of that.
“It was pure hometown, locals hanging out, an institution for our town, so we are feeling that loss,” said Katharine Nevins, who owns MainStreet BookEnds across Main Street from the Foothills.
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