After two months of empty streets and store fronts, Main Street in Mount Gilead and roads around Morrow County are showing signs of life again.
Some restaurants like Suz-E-Q’s in Cardington and Edison Depot are doing takeout and have tables on a patio area. Others like Sames & Cook are continuing with take out and will open in June for dining in.
• The End Zone in Mount Gilead opened for dining on Thursday, May 21. End Zone owner Joe Long said a lot of preparation went into rearranging tables to comply with a six feet distance required by state guidelines.
“Servers and employees will be wearing masks,” Long said. “We’re not requiring customers to wear masks, but some may want to.”
Long said he met with servers to make sure they know safety measures and all employees have had the Serve Safe course. He’s glad all his employees will be coming back.
“We want to go by the book,” Long said. “We’re family-oriented and we want patrons to feel safe.”
“It’s been hard the last couple months, but we got a great response from the community on takeout and delivery,” Long added.
Long and most businesses said the stay-at-home months gave them some time to do extra cleaning, updates and make some changes.
• Karen McClelland at Sames & Cook said they have rearranged the tables to comply with the distancing standards. They are open for to go orders only until June 1st when they will have dine in again.
Their new hours are Wednesday-Saturday 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and closed Sunday-Tuesday. The menu is somewhat limited the first few weeks. Their menu and more information is on their Facebook page. They request that patrons wear a mask when they enter the restaurant.
• Emily Shaffer of Gardens and Gifts opened on May 14.
About 95 percent of customers coming in are wearing masks, and I also make them available for purchase,” Shaffer said. “I appreciate when people wear masks, but it’s not required.”
Hours for Gardens and Gifts: Monday-Friday 1 to 5 p.m., Saturday 12-3 p.m. closed Sunday.
• Ron’s Barbershop opened Tuesday with a line of men waiting all day. Barber Ron Meade and his son Gary, said they were busy all day, but it slowed a little on Wednesday.
“We’ve never been so busy with so little time between customers,” Gary said. Both barbers wear masks, but don’t require patrons to wear masks. They estimated that about 40 percent of patrons are wearing masks.
• Kerry Wintrich of On the Square Antiques is excited to open her doors again with hours Wednesday-Friday 10-6, Saturday 10-4 and Sunday 11-4. She also welcomes private shopping by appointment.
“We were crazy busy when we opened last week and over the weekend,” Wintrich said.
She painted and worked on a lot of furniture during the months they were closed.
Wintrich is President of the Merchants Association for downtown Mount Gilead and the group is planning a side walk sale once a month this summer. Sidewalk sales will be posted on its Facebook page, Mount Gilead Shops and Restaurants.
One issue Long, McClelland and restaurants around the county are facing is a rise in some prices, along with a problem getting the foods that they are used to getting.
“We ask the community to be patient,” said Long. “You now will have to wait to be seated when you come in. There are some changes since we need to comply with state guidelines. We still want this to be a fun place — fun and safe.”