WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Restaurant workers are feeling the effects of the deep freeze on their wallets.
But the icy weather did not keep some restaurants from opening today to serve warm meals to cold customers.
When you need a sledgehammer to clear the ice on the sidewalk, there's a good chance you won't see many customers in your business.
That's why many downtown restaurants closed Wednesday, giving employees time to play in the snow.
"I actually took my dog out for the first time,” Waitress Lindsay Wright explained. “He's a puppy, he's only 10 months old, so it was his first time in the snow and he loved it."
But time off means less money in their pockets.
"Well it's right after Christmas, so everybody is feeling that,” Waiter Michael Cunningham said. “And it's no fun. I want to work. I need to work. Most people around here, service industry people, can definitely agree with me on that one."
"Like any waitress, I didn't get paid,” Wright said. “So it was kind of a Catch 22, where you get the day off, but you don't work, and you don't make money”
The Basics reopened Thursday serving food all day.
With ice still covering most roads the wait staff says their drive to work was no joke.
"Awful by any standards wherever you live in this country. It's just sheets of ice,” Cunningham said.
But they say they have to pay the bills, and are just hoping business picks up.
"I'm hoping a lot of people will be stir crazy enough to want to get out of the house and come get a nice warm meal down here,” Wright said.
"We'll bounce back,” Cunningham added. “It's just one of those weeks where you just don't make much."