Metro Atlanta BBQ restaurant helps save neighboring Mexican restaurant on the verge of closing down

Local restaurants helping each other survive pandemic

FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. — A family restaurant in Forsyth County that was in danger of closing because of the pandemic has new life, and it’s partially thanks to a neighboring diner.

Paris Retana was afraid his burrito restaurant was finished. But then he opened up this Tuesday morning.

"We are just overblown and overwhelmed and so thankful. It's just amazing. Amazing,” Retana said.

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He co-owns Lake Burrito with his sisters Alicia and Mildred. They’ve been in business 10 years. But COVID-19 forced him to furlough all of his employees.

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Fellow restaurant owner Steve Hartsock told Channel 2’s Berndt Petersen that he heard about it and put out a community call to action on social media.

"I don't know of another way to ask everyone in our community to rally behind a place that deserves it,” Hartsock said.

Steve also promised to donate a full day’s profits from his restaurant -- Socks Love Barbecue -- to Lake Burrito.

"I have a neighbor who works for him and he's just an incredible human being, looking out for the needs of others always,” customer Cristen Thompson said.

Now folks are lining up outside Retana’s place.

“When things work out the way they're supposed to work out and there's no other explanation for it -- that's faith,” customer Sloan Cook said.

The Retana family told Petersen they are grateful to the customers they call friends.

"We all want the same thing. We're all looking for happiness for our families and friends and our community. And when we have a chance, we help each other,” Retana said.

Things have gotten so busy at Lake Burrito that last Friday they ran out of food.

After weeks of carryout orders, restaurants can start reopening dining rooms