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Woody's Brick Oven & Grill in Lubbock is set to celebrate its fifth anniversary on Sunday. It should be a celebratory and happy week for the owners and staff this week, but it seems as though the celebratory atmosphere and feelings have been replaced by worry and anxiety.

The last few years haven't been easy for locally-owned restaurants. The COVID-19 pandemic hurt small business owners and cost countless people their jobs. Some lost their businesses entirely. Many restaurants still aren't back up to full staffing levels. Add in record-high inflation and food costs driving up the cost of doing business, and it's easy to see why some customers are staying home.

On Wednesday, Woody's Brick Oven Pizza & Grill took to Facebook with a sad message to customers. In the Facebook post, the owners say they have had shifts with only 2 or 3 tables this month and that they're now picking and choosing which bills to pay.

Our 5 year is on the 10th.
Please keep us going. It has been a rough 4 weeks.
We have had shifts with only 2 or 3 tables this past month. We have Pick and choose what bills will be paid this month. Mounting food prices are killing the restaurant industry. We wanna be around for a few generations but we can't do that without the support. Support your local favorites we need you folks. KEEP LOCAL ALIVE

Their overall message? We want to be around for a long time, but things really aren't looking good right now.

It's a sad thing to have to post and no business owner wants to look like they're begging people to come in, but it's a message we've seen over and over again from locally-owned businesses here in Lubbock, Texas.

Here's the deal: Lubbock has a lot of good pizza places, and I give Woody's credit for trying different ideas and trying to see what works and what doesn't work. If you're in the mood for pizza this week, think about going local. If you're a family that likes to have pizza once a week, maybe change things up and order from different local places each week.

Support Lubbock, support local. Sounds like a tasty idea to me. We wish Woody's the best of luck and I hope they're crowded this week and can have a great anniversary celebration this weekend.

Woody's Brick Oven Pizza & Grill is located at 3135 34th Street in Lubbock.

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