TAMPA, Fla. -- Publix is offering rent relief to businesses operating in Publix-owned shopping centers that have closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Fat Rabbit Pub is located in City Plaza at Tampa Palms. The shopping complex has numerous tenants.
Publix will waive rent for two months for small businesses.
Shawn Diehl, owner of Fat Rabbit Pub, opened the restaurant three years ago. He said he is grateful for the help.
"It was humbling and great news, welcomed news so we got two months that they've contributed to us and we're able to get some much needed flexibility with the cash flow," said Diehl.
The Fat Rabbit Pub is still open for takeout. Diehl said business was good before coronavirus spread across the country.
"We were named best bar in New Tampa so the place was humming. Business was going great and then it just fell off the cliff," said Diehl.
"By 5 p.m. on a Friday night, there would be 20 to 30 people waiting at the door. The bar would be completely full. You'd have half an hour to a 40 minute wait to even get a table," he added.
The Fat Rabbit Pub had to shut down its dining area like restaurants across the state.
"We've had to modify hours, change hours, change staffing levels and manage our costs," said Diehl.
Diehl said community support is crucial.
"Supporting local businesses and locally owned businesses is incredibly important right now so just thank you and keep doing it so we can all kind of get through this," said Diehl.
For more information on The Fat Rabbit Pub visit: https://fatrabbitpub.com