RAPID CITY, S.D. — Local churches are feeling the effect of the pandemic, with many not feeling safe enough to attend in-person worship. With fewer people at church, some restaurants are seeing a drop in their regular crowds, while others are remaining as busy as ever.
For many, Sundays are looked at as a day of worship. Typically, after people finish with their service, they look for a place to go and get some breakfast. But some church-goers are not quite ready to eat inside public places.
Troy Davis, member of a local church, said, “Not unless there is something going on after church like an event or a birthday or something, but usually not anymore. We’re all just kinda getting together at each others houses try to safe out there do our part.”
Restaurants such as the Colonial House and Tally’s Silver Spoon have been seeing a steady breakfast and lunch crowd on Sundays. But for places like the Fairmont Diner, things haven’t been quiet the same since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Connie Hounchelo, Manager of Fairmont Diner, said, “It’s definitely done an impact; I feel it’s slowly getting back to normal. But 2020 – that was a tough year. So far 2021 has been alright, I would say.”
Fairmont Diner is now operating at full capacity and has begun hiring back employees that they had to furlough at the start of the pandemic. But management understands that it will take some time before people are more comfortable to eat in public.
“It’s been a slow process, one day we can be busy like crazy and then the next day it can be super quiet. There still really is no rhyme or reason when people are comfortable to come out,” said Hounchelo.