BIG SANDY, Texas — Many restaurants across East Texas are feeling the heat as they find creative ways to stay in business amid the coronavirus.
"It's a slight hiccup to say the least," Luke Parrish, general manager of Circle M Crawfish, said. "We depend on congregation and we depend on the public."
Parrish says Circle M Crawfish quickly turned into a drive-thru and to-go establishment once the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended no gatherings of 10 or more people.
"We spent all night. We moved coke machines, moved fryers, moved ovens, moved almost half the restaurant over to the drive-thru just so we could to go business for our customers," Parrish said.
In addition to the drive-thru service Parrish says he sensed the community needed a pick me up. He says this turned into the idea of giving away a free bowl of gumbo to anyone who needed it.
"We did that. We got people smiling and got people back in a good mood around here anyways,"Parrish said.
In the meantime Parrish says he remains hopeful for the future.
"We started here. We're staying here. This community takes cares of us," Parrish explained. "Gladewater, Gilmer, Big Sandy that whole little area there is our community, anytime we see a need we always help out."
Circle M Crawfish tells CBS19 they are tentatively planning to do another evening of free gumbo on March 30. You can check their Facebook page for more details.