‘It was rough, but we survived’: Wheel Barrel in NOTO reopens after month-long closure

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TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) — A north Topeka restaurant is opening its doors again after being closed for more than a month.

The Wheel Barrel has been closed since March 16 because of the coronavirus pandemic. The owner, Jon Bohlander, decided it was best to not offer takeout or pick-up orders like other restaurants. Delivery also wasn’t an option because they didn’t have the funds to cover it.

On Tuesday, the NOTO restaurant reopened. Employees had to get through some kinks in the first day, such as being short-staffed. But for them, the community support is just one step closer to getting back to business.

“It keeps us going,” Bohlander said. “We don’t have the bank accounts of the chains to survive. We don’t have that support. It was rough. But we survived and we’re back.”

Ordering and dining will look different. Like all restaurants in Kansas, they have to make sure social distancing is maintained. To limit the contact between customers and waiters, people will order on paper menus at the bar, then the food will be delivered to the table, or ready in a bag for take out.

The hours have also changed. The restaurant will be open Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

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