CARBONDALE (WSIL)—William and Keesha Lo dreamed of starting a food blog, but those dreams quickly changed after they noticed local businesses in the area began to close.
“We saw Fat Patties close, and then Newell House and thought, ‘we really need to do something,'” said Keesha.
They created Southern Illinois Eats, a page where anyone can post positive feedback about restaurants or hidden gems they found throughout the region.
“A lot of the positive we’ve seen coming out of the page have been people finding places they never knew existed, people getting out their comfort zone or their bubble and realizing there is a lot more out there than just the area you live in,” Keesha said.
Last year, when many restaurants were required to shut down indoor dining, many didn’t know how to support local eateries.
So William Lo spent hours creating an easy access list, full of restaurants and what kind of dining options they offered.
“You know, let’s make a list, that way we could push that list out. So everyone could see and people could go ‘hey, so-and-so’s restaurant is open, let’s go support it,’ and that way we could give restaurants a fighting chance,” said William.
While the Los believe the restaurant’s cooking is what helped keep the businesses open, they hope the page helped folks find locally owned restaurants throughout southern Illinois.
After all, in two years, the page now has over 36,000 followers.
And even though William Lo is glad the page is getting recognition, he is more excited about the way everyone can interact with the page.
“Seeing people excited about eating places, it just makes me happy, and that’s all I want,” said William.
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