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Ted’s Coney Island Hangs on in Restaurant Landscape Shift

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DES MOINES, Iowa — When Governor Reynolds announced all restaurant dining rooms in Iowa would close, due to a health emergency Stacy Velman was ready. He was concerned this could happen, so he’d already measured his windows, for giant signs. The signs were to let the world know, the drive-up window and carryout service for food at Ted's Coney Island, is ready for customers.

His dining room is strangely empty.

“We are really fortunate here because we have the drive-through window that’s helped us out a lot, but I think the community has really stepped up and support local businesses,” said Velman. “People coming through and getting carryout getting drive through, its really surprised us how people are supporting the local businesses.”

The restaurant has a strong tradition for Greek food, even though Des Moines doesn’t have a big Greek population.

“We have of course the regular coneys and hamburgers and tenderloins french fries onion rings, our big seller is it the gyro sandwich and a couple Greek items falafel and Greek salad things like that,” said Velman. ”There’s a lot of garlic, a lot of lemon juice, a lot of oregano lettuce stuff you see in typical Greek cooking.”

Even though business through the drive up and carryouts have kept them busy, this period is not easy for anyone running a restaurant.

“We’re trying to stick to all the protocol that the government is giving us and trying to keep the place clean really trying to keep people safe,” said Velman. “Then switching everything over to the drive-through window and carry out and delivery so it’s a shift without having a dining room available.”

For information about Ted's Coney Island, click here.

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