THOMASVILLE, Ga. (WALB) - A restaurant in Thomasville is celebrating its 12-year anniversary this month.
The owner posted a heartfelt message to Facebook about his experience when he first opened.
The owner of Jonah’s Fish and Grits, Caleb Brown, said he’s gone through many ups and downs over the last 12 years.
But, he said there’s one thing that’s gotten him through it all.
“It’s been a walk of faith since day one. Many people would come to me that first year and say ‘you’re not going to make it without wine, you’re not going to make it without alcohol, and we’ve just continued to see the Lord’s hand of favor and blessing these 12 years,” said Brown.
He said he encountered a major hurdle before opening when he went to pick up an alcohol license for his restaurant.
“When I tried to conceptualize Jonah’s with alcohol, the piece that I had throughout the process left me, and I knew something was wrong,” said Brown.
After this moment, Brown said he decided to not sell alcohol in his restaurant.
Though he was relieved in this decision, he said he was nervous about the impact it may have.
And while there's no judgment on those who sell or drink alcohol, he says many people have voiced their gratefulness to him for not selling it.
“Just to make this stand, this is a place where we won’t have alcohol, and it’ll be a refuge for those who do not want to serve or do not want to be around alcohol or be tempted by alcohol,” explained Brown.
After taking one of the most difficult walks of faith, and doing something out of the norm, he's thankful for his guests and the community 12 years later.
“We’ve certainly seen it in this pandemic. That was probably one of the most challenging things we’ve been through as a company. To have to on a dime, go to 100 percent take-out and try to keep enough revenue to get the doors open,” Brown told us.
Still standing, successful and busy, Brown said this is a testament to God’s faithfulness.
“The endorsement of the crowds, even without the alcohol, it shows you that God’s hand of favor is on the place, and I couldn’t have done it without him,” Brown said.