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Woman-owned Virginia Beach sports bar asks for community support to survive pandemic

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Posted at 3:50 PM, Jan 15, 2021

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va.— A woman-run sports bar in Virginia Beach says it is struggling to stay open during the pandemic.

Sloppy Seconds Bar and Grill is just one of many restaurants looking for community support to keep its doors open.

“She’ll have some little crying spells, and I always tell her, 'It’s going to be fine; we have to believe it’s going to be fine,'” said Cynthia Langley-Abdullah about her daughter, Jenell Bohny.

Langley-Abdullah and Bohny co-own the sports bar on Holland Road with a third woman, Jennifer Norris.

They say they’re just barely getting by to keep the doors open.

“I feel like we’ve been blessed being able during the pandemic to get this far, but in reality, we don’t know how much further we can go, “said Langley-Abdullah.

Sloppy Joes are their signature dish - so good, people come back for a second serving. But lately, getting people to come in at all has been a challenge.

“We’re stressing because you’re trying every day to check your accounts and you’re trying to make sure there’s enough funds in there for all the bills that are coming in or going out,” said Langley-Abdullah.

They fear they’ll only last a couple more months if things don’t turn around, so they humbly asked for the community’s support in an emotional Facebook post that garnered hundreds of shares online.

“[Customers] just said that they just wanted to be here to support us, they didn’t want to see us close — they didn’t want to see another small business close,” said Bohny.

An overwhelming and unexpected response led to a surge in customers on Thursday - one they hadn’t seen in six months.

Related: New Norfolk cheesesteak restaurant opens despite COVID-19 restrictions: 'We are going to conquer it'

"Last night gave us a little bit of help, so we’re hoping that it moves forward going like that,” said Bohny.

The future is still uncertain, but they hope to weather the worst of the pandemic with more community support to come.

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