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'It's done a lot of damage': The Valley Inn fights to stay afloat due to pandemic

Posted at 6:48 AM, May 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-20 09:54:51-04

Barbara Orban has loved working at the Valley Inn for the past 21 years, but things have been hard since COVID-19 forced the bar to close its doors.

"I miss my customers, if you know me ,you know I'm a hugger, so I'm missing that special touch. I'm just missing people," says Barbara.

With the Milwaukee Brewers practically neighbors, this should be the busiest time of the year. Instead, chairs are empty.

"It's done a lot of damage. We are just fighting to stay open right now and getting our bills paid," says Barbara.

Not going down quietly, Barbara, and the Inn's owner Jim Hutterer, are using the kitchen to survive.

"We've gone from waiting tables to box lunches which is pretty new to us. Corporations, nonprofit organizations have reached out to us for lunches which have just been a blessing," says Barbra.

Despite hard times, matched with the stress of keeping a 60-plus year business around, the Valley Inn continues to help when it can.

"We all work together, so as long as our bills are getting paid whatever we make over and above that we try to pay it forward to people who aren't as fortunate as we are to still be working and still have a job," says Barbara.

If you'd like to help the Valley Inn but not sure what to order, here is a recommendation from the woman running the kitchen through this pandemic.

"My favorite is the Bomber Sandwich. It's Italian beef, caramelized onions, with mozzarella cheese on top and toasted french bread," says Barbara. "It's a great sandwich."

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