ST. CHARLES – Steve Shearer picked the worst time to get into the restaurant business.
Earlier this month, the St. Charles resident purchased Bezo's Sandwich Shop at 208 W. Main St. in downtown St. Charles. Just days after the purchase, Gov. JB Pritzker announced that all bars and restaurants in the state would be closed to the public for inside dining in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus).
Since that time, Pritzker has announced a stay-at-home order in effect until April 7. Restaurants can still offer carryout, curbside service, drive-thru and delivery.
He is making the best of the situation. Bezo's Sandwich Shop offers delivery service and customers can also call ahead and pick up their orders at the door.
"It's like curbside, but door side," Shearer said. "The word's been getting out because I do a lot of social media. I've got a ton of Facebook followers from just being a local guy. A lot of the schools order from me and the police department orders from me."
Bezo's, which had opened in 2019 under a previous owner, sells a variety of fresh homemade sandwiches, including corned beef, pastrami, turkey and ham and cheese. The restaurant also sells wraps.
"We cut all our meat fresh," Shearer said.
The fact that bars in downtown St. Charles have also had to close their indoor spaces has also hurt his business.
"My first weekend was the last weekend the bars were open," he said.
But is optimistic that the restaurant will come out on top in the end.
"We'll get through all this," Shearer said.