By Vittoria Woodill

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Tonight, we’re excited to kick off a new initiative called Open For Business. Our mission is to support small businesses, which are the lifeblood of our communities. They represent what is unique about us and what makes our region — and you — special.

And what better way to start than with Vittoria Woodill, back from her maternity leave, and a new twist on her popular franchise Taste With Tori.

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For five years, Taste With Tori has been spotlighting local restaurants, and right now, it’s more important than ever to continue to do that so we can help our neighbors and local businesses survive.

So what’s the twist? Tori is checking back in with some of the friends she’s met along the way to see how they’ve been trying to make lemonade out of lemons.

This week, Tori traveled to the Jersey Shore to re-visit Josie Kelly’s Public House, an Irish pub and restaurant that hasn’t been surviving on luck, but the idea that life in a bubble doesn’t have to be so bad.

In Somers Point, Josie Kelly’s is a public house that pays a lovely tribute to the emerald isle, and last March, my jugular was doing an Irish jig while noshing on their golden fish and chips, seafood chowder, and their Irish breakfast complete with blood pudding.

But you didn’t get to see it. Just after we filmed, indoor dining and the world was put on pause. Their segment never aired.

Owners Dermott Lloyd and his wife Kathleen have been on my mind ever since, so I wanted to pay them a visit and see how they have been making the most out of these past couple of months.

Whether we’re stuck inside of our homes or masking up inside of a restaurant, we’re looking to feel nourished.

“The overwhelming response this year was we love coming here because it’s safe,” Dermott said. “Now, I realize more than ever how important it is to create that atmosphere because it was taken from us.”

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“The one thing that we really had, which is such an advantage is that the restaurant is so large so we were able to spread out six feet. And then we created the sun bubble village, and we offer takeout,” Kathleen said.

It was great to catch up with Dermott and Kathleen and seeing that they’re doing well! So I hope you all take a trip to see them and get your grub on in a bubble soon, and continue to share the love with even more small businesses beyond restaurants.

Every Tuesday at 5 p.m. I will be featuring more of our neighbors to support! From local shoe shops to bowling alleys, we’re going to try to do our best to bring their stories to you.

And we’re looking for your help! Click here to submit a small business that you love to support because we’re all in this together!

Watch the video to hear more from Josie Kelly’s.


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Vittoria Woodill