Darla Pitts

Darla Pitts

“I think that the biggest thing is, the profit margin now just isn’t what it used to be. If it wasn’t for other stuff we would be just breaking even because of inflation. You just can’t raise prices, either. Then customers are super upset and talk about going somewhere else. It’s like you’re between a rock and a hard place. We haven’t raised our prices whatsoever for the past two years.”

“We definitely aren’t doing as well as before COVID. Business has come back probably like 80%. Just this past month we’re kind of getting back to normal after two and a half years. I purchased the business, I think, seven or eight months before COVID, so I had to shut down the business for months just after I bought it.”

“We’re pretty lucky in Oak Lawn. Gambling is allowed because that is honestly such a lifesaver at my bar. I can’t believe how much of a help that’s been. I think without that we probably would not have been able to make it through COVID.”

“Property taxes are definitely one of the biggest costs, I think mine are $22,000 for the year. I figured out I pay almost $2,000 a month just for property taxes and licenses. I can’t imagine business owners without a full-time job or running their business full time. In my mind, I wanted to retire from the firehouse in a certain amount of years from now, and I’m not gonna be able to because of, you know, the inflation and stuff like that. I’ll have to wait a lot longer than I anticipated.”

“Gas of course has gone up. Utilities have gone crazy. It’s not anything drastic, more so the 15% up-charge on everything, even bottled beer. You’re trying to run specials all the time to keep people interested and after paying your wages you’re breaking even.”

“I can’t vote for Amendment 1 or anything that’d bring more taxes. I’m just barely breaking even as it is. Taking any more of my margin would put me in the red for sure.”

“Higher unemployment taxes would mean that we’d be going into the negative. More taxes just means more businesses shut down. What’s really horrible is it really affects small businesses, not the big ones.”

“Thanks to gas prices, taxicab services hiked up their prices. It’s wonderful that people don’t want to drink and drive. When rides are more expensive, people are more likely to just stay home. I checked the price to my house the other night. I only live within five miles, and it was a $30 cab ride. Thinking about going back and forth there for a $30 cab ride is insane.”

“Inflation has taken money that I’d put back into the business. We’re trying to open a kitchen. We’re planning on breaking ground this spring, which has now turned into late August. Adding a menu to the area which is mostly bars would be nice. Having a pub and grill is way nicer than having just a bar where people aren’t eating, you know?”

Darla Pitts
Owner, Irish Rebel Pub
Oak Lawn, Illlinois

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