FORT VALUE (CBSDFW.COM) – While the supply chain nightmare is blamed for bottlenecks in everything from glass bottles to auto parts, a Fort Worth neighborhood is now at stake.
Drew’s Soul Food Restaurant has closed its doors and only switched to catering as the owners struggled to secure the supplies needed to open.
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“It all started with the meat industry,” explains co-owner Stephanie Thomas, “and we just knew it wasn’t going to get any better. And it just went downhill. “
“Oxtails, black-eyed peas, some of the containers we don’t get … and sometimes you only get 3,” tells her husband Andrew “Drew” Thomas, while Stephanie adds, “When I order the ‘to go’. Cups for your veggies, they may have the cups but they don’t have a lid. What use is that to me? “
Right now, owners say the time and expense spent looking for supplies has just become too much. In between preparing for catering orders, they take calls, confirm the sad, sad news – some even follow Stephanie on her personal cell phone.
“Only 5 minutes ago,” she says with a laugh, while the restaurant phone continues to ring in the background, “I had a call that said, ‘Is that true?’ Yes, it is true.”
The soul food institution in south Fort Worth has served home cooking with a touch of love for 34 years – and the community has returned that love with bushels.
“I love their choked pork chops,” enthused David Folsom, “oh my god!” Folsom says he stopped by after hearing the dining room reopen and when he saw the cars in the parking lot, he ventured to hope. But there was no more sauce today. “I hope they stay open. I love this place. “
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The Thomas’ say they know – and that is what makes this situation so difficult.
“Just the spirit in which we do it. You have the feeling that you lose that because of the challenges you have, “explains Stephanie, her brown eyes filling with tears,” feels like the best decision. “
The good news, however, is that the family says the break is a “break” and not a “goodbye”. They say they will use the time to retool.
“Just freshen up something and give it a new look and feel,” says Thomas’ daughter Krystal, “and just make it better overall.”
“It was very rewarding,” adds her father Andrew, “it was just really … a fun ride.”
So take your courage, keep your loose jeans … it’s not over yet.
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“Just stick with it,” says Stephanie, her smile has now returned, “we’ll be back.”