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‘Look for the helpers:’ Don’s Diner becomes grocery and liquor store amid COVID-19 pandemic

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MILWAUKEE -- Governor Tony Evers on Tuesday, March 17 ordered a statewide ban on all gatherings of more than 10 people, and closed all bars and dine-in restaurants except for carryout or delivery. In the wake of that order, FOX6 News found the folks at Don's Diner & Cocktails in Walker's Point putting customers' needs above their own.

"We're all in it together here in Milwaukee," said Sean Wille, Stand Eat Drink operations manager. "It was a mad dash to get everything ready for everybody."

Those at Don's Diner & Cocktails, located near near 1st Street and Washington Street, opted to stay open -- under a different name.

Don's Diner and Cocktails

Don's Diner and Cocktails"We sat down and tried to figure out a way that we could keep the doors open," said Sean Wille.

Renamed 'Don's Grocery & Liquor,' newly built shelves have been stocked with coveted necessities.

"It's really handy, especially with the toilet paper shortage," said Nick Meyer, customer.

"I think it's really cool, it's great for the community," said Jordan Wille, customer. "I actually got booze and lunch!"

Don's Diner and Cocktails

As the team at Don's brainstormed how to keep employees busy while helping others, Sean Wille said a quote from Mr. Rogers came to mind.

"It was just a perfect, appropriate quote," said Wille. "In times of need, when you see bad things on the news, and you see trouble, look for the helpers, because there's always going to be helpers."

In addition to groceries, liquor, and carryout orders -- gift cards were being offered for neighbors in need.

"Any amount is going to be donated to the community member who joins our list that is requesting assistance," said Sean Wille.

"I think the most important thing we can do right now is look outward, and see where the greatest need is," said Jacob Niggemann, customer.

Don's Grocery & Liquor will be open daily from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. while supplies last. Community gift cards can be purchased in-person, over the phone at 414-808-0805, or online HERE.

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