Popular Orangeburg restuarant would be hit hard by SC State shutdown
D&B Barbeque employee, Pat Bonapart, says shutdown will hurt business in Orangeburg.
Fried fish is one of the most popular dishes on gameday at D&B Barbeque.
By: Kelly Wiley
South Carolina State students and faculty have been shocked by the proposal to shut the school down down until 2017. A South Caolina House subcomittee voted 3-1 in favor of a plan to close SC State for a year while the state corrects the school's financial problems.
Such a shutdown would leave thousands of students looking for a place to complete their education and leave hundreds of faculty and staff without jobs.
But shutdown effects go farther than just the campus. Businesses near the campus, like D&B Barbeque, are also concerned about what happens to them.
Pat Bonapart has worked at D&B Barbeque since it opened. Bonapart says it's her livelyhood and the restaurant depends on students and staff.
“They come here and to restaurants for meals, and you know, they just love to eat,” said Bonapart. “They be knocking on the door. They want their fish.”
D&B Barbeque isn't the only business that will be affected. Fans frequently eat at spots around campus where on game day Bulldog Stadium draws thousands to support the team and community.
Shanice Bradley lives in the Orangeburg area and says without the university the area will look a lot different.
“If they tear down state Orangeburg will be nothing,” said Bradley. “We would be an abandoned town. A lot of businesses and everything will close down if they shut down state.”
But it's just not about the business. Bonapart hoped her grand kids would get the experience she never had.
“I never went to college. I went to high school but I never went to college,” said Bonapart. “My oldest grand said, I want to go to state.”
For now that is out of her hands, but she does have one plea:
“If anyone out there can hear the sound of my voice, I just beg you could they please help us to keep SC state running,” she says.