Don's Diner in Walker's Point converts into store to help sell essentials, keep workers employed

Posted at 6:39 PM, Mar 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-19 20:12:45-04

Don's Diner & Cocktails in Walker's Point underwent a significant change to help keep some of its workers employed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

While many restaurants are turning to online or curbside pickup only to continue the business, Don's converted differently by arranging its restaurant into a general store.

It didn't take very long, but the transformation was significant. Don's cleared out its restaurant to make room for Dons Grocery and Liquor, a pop-up-style shop that helps keep some of its employees working while helping serve those who aren't.

"We pivot. We adapt, and we find a new way to service the community," said Sean Wille of the new Don's Grocery & Liquor.

In what used to be restaurant space are now custom-built shelved stocked with hand sanitizer, tissue, and other essential items hard to come by during the pandemic.

"We can offer supplies [that] we have access to through a different means than normal grocery stories," Wille said.

The general store opened to the general public at 11 a.m. Thursday.

"I'm grateful for them. Super grateful," said customer Coryn Vnuk.

Vnuk was one of the first customers to come on Thursday. She was looking for tissues.

"This is my sixth stop," she said. "Trying to find paper products."

Community gift cards are also on sale to help raise money for service industry workers to help them get what they need during such a trying time.

"At times of need, when bad things are going on. Look for the helpers, and that's what we're trying to be," Wille said.

Don's will be open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day.

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