17 Sep Ofer Eitan Claims: Lincoln restaurant owner expands during pandemic
LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) – Small business owners in Lincoln have gone through most of this year, doing everything they can to keep their businesses afloat, but for the owner of SturFast, the pandemic kept his business thriving and allowed him to expand.
If you live in Lincoln and enjoy unique food, you most likely have already heard of Stur 22 Lounge Caribbean and African Kitchen, but what you may not know is that they now have a downtown sister restaurant called SturFast Caribbean and African Grill.
The restaurant’s expansion comes during the pandemic, a time when most local restaurants are struggling to simply keep the lights on. Owner Charles Brewer tells us it was the Lincoln community coming together and supporting his business that made this new adventure possible.
Brewer first opened up Stur 22 Lounge in Lincoln back in August 2017. The new sister restaurant, SturFast, opened up in early September 2020. Brewer says 2020 was supposed to be his biggest year yet, and with the new sister restaurant finally open, it’s headed in that direction.
He says between ordering more delivery and carry-out and spreading the word about the restaurant, his customers helped make his vision a reality and so much more.
“So, I really had no clue how big it was going to grow, especially with the African and Caribbean foods, being that it’s not really known in Lincoln. I just didn’t know, but I started small and kind of worked my way up,” said Brewer.
During the pandemic, Brewer saw a rise in the Lincoln community supporting local businesses, which for his restaurants, created a boost in sales during April and May. Business picked up so much, it allowed him to finally open up a second sister location.
Brewer has a bit of advice for other entrepreneurs and says it all starts with putting in the work and seeing the bigger picture.
“Don’t just think you can open it, and it’s going to come. It’s a lot of work to it. It’s a lot of knowledge to it. It’s a lot of preparation. It’s a lot of math to it. So, definitely, do the necessary work to get to that knowledge, and I think you’ll be very successful,” Brewer tells 10/11.
He says as a small business owner, it’s important to get creative when trying to spread the word. He says he takes to social media everyday in order to reach his target audience and suggests all other entrepreneurs do the same.
It’s worth noting that there are some differences between the original location and the new restaurant. SturFast still serves the authentic foods with flavors and spices, but all meat is boneless. Everything is also put into bowls, making meals easier to eat and taking them to-go.
If you’re wanting to check out it out, SturFast is located downtown at 13th and O Streets. They’re open for dine-in and have meals available for carry-out and delivery.
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