Vestavia’s Diplomat Deli one of many restaurants in survival mode during COVID-19 crisis


VESTAVIA HILLS, Ala. (WIAT) — Diplomat Deli in Vestavia Hills said they’re taking every day a step at a time, unsure of what the future holds for their restaurant.

The new norm for Diplomat Deli is having parking spots, instead of tables, for their customers.

“We take it one day at a time. Sometimes one hour at a time and the community support has been unbelievable for us,” said Joseph Hoskin, co-owner of Diplomat Deli.

A business that has been around since 1982, “The Dip” is taking a huge hit.

“The little guys are the ones that are at most vulnerable because there is not a huge savings account. We live paycheck to paycheck just like everyone else. We’ve had to kind of furlough eight or nine employees who they’re not even paycheck to paycheck. A lot of those guys are shift to shift people,” he said.

Some restaurants have already hung in the towel, like Mile End Delicatessen by Railroad Park.
Babalu, a tapas restaurant in the Lakeview area also just closed, just like Brio Tuscan Grille by Brookwood Mall.

“There are going to be a lot of businesses that go bankrupt and you know it’s part of it. People only have so much to spend and once generosity wears on, people are going to take a financial hit and aren’t realizing it yet and I think things will get tight. That’s what’s scary is what’s going to go on in a month,” Hoskin said.

Hoskin said right now, they’ll be okay, but like many, the future is unclear. He said they’re going to keep pushing for as long as they can.

“Anything you can do to help the little guys out because life blood of community is small business. Without small business, what’s the point of being a community,” he said.


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