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'We all lean on each other' | Pappy's Smokehouse owner says St. Louis restaurants are in survival mode

Mike Emerson, owner of Pappy's Smokehouse, is asking people to help however they can

ST. LOUIS — Our restaurants are the fabric of St. Louis. With all of them closed, they're having to rely on carry-out orders to survive.

It's a scary reality even for the king of barbecue, Mike Emerson of Pappy's Smokehouse. 

Emerson is now semi-retired and living in Hawaii. He was back in St. Louis for a planned trip when all the restrictions went into place.

He said he’s been on conference calls all day with his restaurant family trying to game plan how they're going to survive this.

"You know, we talk about it every day," Emerson said. "We don't have a crystal ball. We kind of back up to each other so we can lean on each other, you know. None of us have a perfect solution, so you keep treading and you keep working together and if someone starts to slide down you kind of grab them by the collar and you pull them back up."

Many of the restaurants that have reserve funds are tapping into them. Employees are sharing the few hours available. 

Emerson said if you're in a position to help, please do. He’s hoping someone steps up and saves all the wonderful places that make St. Louis so great. 

Until then, they keep fighting with whatever resources they have.


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