Local business owners vow to hang in there despite new COVID-19 restrictions

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LEWISTON — Joe Walker is doing the best he can, but his outlook? 
Not optimistic. 
The manager of both Schemengees Bar and Grill and the Station Grill Restaurant in Lewiston, Walker, he’s already had to layoff four employees. 
Four dart teams have walked out on him, he says, because state COVID mandates won’t allow food and drink to be consumed around the dart lanes.  
“That’s about twenty shooters who went right out the door,” Walker said on Thursday, as Gov. Janet Mills announced a mandate that will force businesses like Schemengees to close at 9 p.m. 
He’s also losing customers who used to go to Schemengees to play corn hole or pool. That means more lost revenue and there’s no real end in sight. 
Can the business survive under these conditions? 
“I doubt it,” Walker says. “I mean, we’re doing the best we can, but I don’t see that happening. We’re not making the money to keep our staff working and our doors open.” 
On another side of the city, at Legends Sports Bar and Grill, owner Melinda Small is facing the same pressures. Like Walker, she’s trying the best she can …

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