SHREVEPORT, La. - Monkhouse Soul and Seafood restaurant owner Cavarria Smith says he's taken some minor financial setbacks during each reopening phase. 

But he's pledged to continue the same customer service. 

Smith said he understands the African-American community has been disproportionately affected by the virus.  

"There's still a lot of paranoia due to social distancing," Smith said. "It's good that people are safe. And we're just trusting God on it. And doing our part. Good hand-washing and social distancing."

Paul Williams of Shreveport has been a loyal customer for years. He said he optimistic but cautious when going out and about.

"Yeah, you know, I worried because I didn't know who had it or what," Williams said. "I just mask up and do my thing, trying to stay safe."

Smith says he appreciates his customer's scrutiny of his business during these trying times.

"Basically, people are more observing," Smith said. "They're watching their surroundings with other customers being here. Looking at how our operation is being ran." 

Smith offered hope to his customers who may be struggling with the harsh realities of COVID-19. 

"There's good in everything that's bad."


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