CHAMPAIGN, III (WAND): Neil St. Blues are not feeling the type of blues they would like, they are struggling with staffing. As Illinois continues to move forward with reopening, Neil St. Blues is trying to find new team members. 

When Neil St. Blues was forced to close due to COVID-10, Gayle Starks, owner, said it was a difficult couple weeks. They had to lay off many of their employees to adapt to new COVID-19 regulations.
"It was really, really difficult when we first were received word that we had to shut down and through the mitigation for COVID, we were really worried because we're a new restaurant, and we weren't quite sure that we'd be able to overcome that." Starks tells WAND News. 
A year later, they are back up and running. Starks says she is excited for the busy summer season ahead. But, there's a new obstacle in the way."Now, it's a different ballgame, we're back open. We have dine-in, takeout, curbside and so, we need more staffing."
Staffing their newly opened restaurant has been a tough battle for Starks, saying they have tried all kinds of way to get people to send in applications, but no luck. "It's been very difficult we've ran ads on sites such as indeed. we've done some advertising here in the store locally, and we've not had a whole lot of success.

"It's just a little bit harder because we are a little bit short staffed." Current employees, like Renae Howard, say they have been feeling the effects of the lack of staff. "If we had a couple more people just on our staff.. it would be more of a team work environment."

But although they are struggling with more hands on deck, they are still hopeful to keep the restaurant up and running. Starks says she knows the Central Illinois community has got their back.

"I really appreciate the support from the community it is just absolutely been awesome. It sometimes brings tears to my eyes when I see our repeat customers. Just come back and keep supporting us, Even through the difficult time."

 If you are interested in applying to work at Neil St. Blues, they are hiring all positions. Some include, servers, bartenders, cooks, prep cooks, line cooks and others. Email for more information or to directly apply. 



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