Coronavirus: Georgia barbecue restaurant helps save neighboring Mexican eatery in danger of closing

Georgia barbecue restaurant helps save neighboring Mexican eatery

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

Content Continues Below

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

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

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

Fellow restaurant owner Steve Hartsock told WSB-TV's Berndt Petersen that he heard about the situation 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.

Hartsock 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.