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Grant County community steps up to support Ivanhoes

A popular restaurant in Grant County is staying positive and staying open.

Since 1965, Ivanhoes has been known for its ice cream and tenderloins. With all Indiana restaurant dining rooms closed during the coronavirus pandemic, General Manager Mark Souers says they’ve gone back to the original idea.

“When we opened, all we had was a little awning up front and a counter that you’d step up to and you would order your meal and then wait for it to be prepared,” Souers told Inside Indiana Business. “And then you’d either enjoy it outside or in your car.”

Souers says when Governor Holcomb ordered all restaurants to be delivery, carry out or to-go only, he didn’t want that to be a bad thing.

“I was like, ‘Let’s not let this be a downer,'” he said. “This is what we were built upon. In 1965, we didn’t have dining rooms and so we decided to make the best out of it.”

It’s been working.

Jessica Whitaker, an employee at Ivanhoes, says they’ve actually been pretty busy.

“If people didn’t come in, we’d have to shut our doors and I think a lot of people know that,” Whitaker said. “And I think they come in because it gives you a feeling that something’s a little normal. ‘I can still go to Ivanhoes. I can still get my ice cream. I can still get my tenderloin.’ It’s just a little breath of fresh air, I think, to everybody.”

Souers says customers have forced the restaurant to add a second phone line to handle the influx of call-in orders.

He said sales are still below where they should be this time of year, but is just happy that they continue to have business.

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