A Note to our Valued Customers and Community
In the 27 years I have been in business I have never faced the gut wrenching decisions that I am now. I have had countless sleepless nights since March trying to figure out how to pay my bills, help my employees and get my business through this without harming anyone in the process. Back in March when we thought it was for just 2 weeks (which BTW seemed outrageous to me), I told my employees not to go on unemployment and I would pay them for those 2 weeks. Then it turned into 2 ½ months so they had to file anyway. During their unemployment months, I continued to pay for the full time benefits which included health insurance, even though I had no income coming in at all.
While we continue to respect our community, staff, and our families' health and safety, continuing to close our doors is no longer an option. I can list the reasons why, but at this point I feel everyone has made up their minds…either we are being reckless or we are saving our lives.
Can you for just one minute, put yourself in my employees’ shoes? What would happen to you if 2 ½ months of your pay was taken away, then, you went to a 50% pay cut? Then a 25% pay cut? Then back to 2 weeks + of no pay? And the future is more of the same? Don’t you have bills that have to be paid? Don’t you and your family need electricity and water and food? Insurance?
We closed for the 2 weeks that Governor Pritzker asked for in March, and then for 3 more months before our inside dining was allowed to open at a restricted capacity. We again closed in October for the 2 weeks Governor Pritzker asked for, which ends today, although we are still not allowed to open. Knowing that this can turn into months more, and also knowing the numbers have not gone down despite our efforts, we have no choice but to reopen tomorrow Friday, November 6.
It is a FACT that bars and restaurants are not the contributing factors in the spread of COVID-19-Nursing homes and household gatherings are. Aside from that, he only closed bars and restaurants. You can still go bowling and eat and drink. You can still go to a casino and eat and drink. You can still go to a gym and work out.
As we have been, we will continue to maintain a clean and safe environment for our staff and our customers as recommended by the CDC and the DuPage Health Department. I have spent thousands of dollars on barriers and plexiglass and PPE in order to comply, even though there have been NO employees from DJ’s who contracted COVID-19. We have spent thousands more on paper menus, plastic cups, single serve condiments and extra garbage pickup costs. Our employees have never faltered wearing their masks, doing the daily health check and sanitizing every hour. We have the mandated barriers at the bar to allow bar seating. We have our tables 6 feet apart OR separated by a barrier.
If you’re high risk or afraid of getting COVID-19, please stay home and avoid any social gatherings. We understand your position and hope you have the compassion to understand ours. We ask for your support, not only for DJ’s Sports Bar but also for the surrounding family owned businesses in Westmont and throughout Illinois who are also struggling. We are all in this together.