Cooking up a new strategy

  • Lydia Hitchcock with The Pizza Place in Highlands is open for business serving carryout meals to residents.
    Lydia Hitchcock with The Pizza Place in Highlands is open for business serving carryout meals to residents.

In Highlands, restaurants have closed their doors to dine-in business for the duration of the COVID-19 crisis. Some eateries have decided instead to open their doors to carry-out customers, offering “grab and go” meals as an option. 

Wolfgang’s Restaurant and Wine Bistro owner, Chef Wolfgang Green said his restaurant opted to provide carry out services to keep his Main Street restaurant open after NC Governor Roy Cooper ordered all restaurants and bars to close over COVID-19 concerns. 

“We are working hard to do what we can to provide the community with carry-out meals,” Green said by phone. “During this unique time, we are stepping up to provide takeout meal service for our customers in the Highlands community.”

Orders can be taken by phone from 4:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday at the restaurant’s 474 Main Street location. 

“Many of the restaurants on Main Street are closing, but we have decided to remain open to provide this carry-out meal service for our customers,” Green said. 

Other Highlands restaurants are following suit. 

Brunch HQ temporarily closed on Wednesday, March 18 and began serving carry-out breakfast and lunch meals from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily until the situation passes. 

“We’ll do our best to continue to serve our community breakfast continuously and safely during this difficult time,” Brunch HQ’s Amanda Ashley said in a written statement. “Chef and I have agreed to quarantine ourselves and avoid everyone, including our children – to protect ourselves and safely continue to serve food. We take our responsibility to the public very seriously and want everyone to be healthy, safe and well fed during this time.”


OEI closes its doors

Beginning with checkout on Thursday, March 19, Old Edwards Inn decided to close its doors over concerns of the COVID-19 virus.

OEI President Richard Delany made the announcement via e-mail on March 18. Highlands’ largest employer said the decision to close for the duration of this international crisis was considered best for its employees, guests, the community and efforts at large to maintain this situation, according to General Manager Amanda Sullivan. 

“Our management team agreed unanimously to close our doors until we feel like being open is the right thing to do,” Sullivan said via email. “We had also touched base with several colleagues in the industry who were struggling with the same decisions and realized everyone was looking to each other for guidance. In the end, for us it simply came down to doing the right thing.” 

Sullivan said the primary order of concern is the safety of its employees and guests, which it considers family. 

“We are a family company – which includes our employees, guests and close friends in this community – and we asked ourselves what should we do for our family?” 

Sullivan said employees will be paid in full as the hotel navigates its way through this crisis. 

“We are encouraging them to stay home, stay safe and be part of the solution,” she said. “Of course, we have hospitality in our blood, so we are eager for the chance to welcome everyone back into the fold once we get all through this thing together and can feel safe communing with each other again.”