A couple of businesses that began back in the 1800’s have seen wars and depression and pandemics.  Now, they’re going to survive the COVID-19 pandemic too.

WVUA23’s Mike Royer visited the two Friday as they and their employees are ready to get back to work.

It doesn’t take Mike Booker long to chop up three pounds of meat to fill an order at Golden Rule BBQ in Irondale.  He’s worked here for 45 years.  After weeks of to-go orders only, Golden Rule opened its doors to customers Friday morning, and they’re glad about that

“We hear both ways, some people are very excited to come in, some are not so, they don’t even want to leave their homes,” Sammy Derzis with Golden Rule said. “But, we’ll see what happens here and we’re looking for good things.”

After deep cleaning the whole restaurant, they put up a new sign inside golden rule today as sort of a “we’re open for business” announcement.  The sign out front says they’ve been turning out BBQ since 1891.  It’s been a challenging couple of months.

“The volume is down, we’ve lost some employees, it’s a whole radical change.  But, it looks like there’s light at the end of the tunnel,” Derzis said.

Just across town in nearby Mountain Brook, things are quieter at Brombergs and Company, the oldest business in the state.  Only the University of Alabama has been around longer.  Ricky Bromberg’s great, great, great grandfather started the jewelry company in 183

“You know we have been around long enough to be able to weather storms, but if you’re just starting off, gosh you weren’t counting on this, or remotely anything likes this and you know I have a heart for those people,” Bromberg said.

And even during a worldwide pandemic, important life events go on. People still fall in love and love family.

“We’ve been blessed to be a part of a lot of a lot life’s happy occasions, be it a wedding or anniversary or birthdays or christening or whatever, whatever it might be and so that’s kind of our extra paycheck to be part of those things,” Bromberg said.

Because of their longevity, business success and hard work, these two businesses have been able to fight through this challenging time and now have employees back in the business doing what they’ve done for years.

“We’ll see what happens now that we’re opening full blast we’ll see what happens,” Derzis said.

“All storms run out of rain, right? So, this too will pass, we just don’t know exactly when, but you know we’ve been able to work through challenges as well and i know we will this one as well,” Bromberg said.

As Alabama begins to find the light at the end of the tunnel, the hope is that old business and the newest ones will survive these challenges and welcome customers back to their store.

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