With the loosening of regulations on restaurants and other businesses on Friday, May 8, Broad Street as well as the 60 was waking up. Lots of cars could be seen driving up and down, bowing to each other at 4-way stops, and filling parking places. And there was much more pedestrian traffic as noted by Cindy Phillips of Vintage & Western Apparel. She said that she was pleasantly surprised when “all of her favorite people dropped in to visit and make purchases.” Never officially closed, the lack of customers of any sort had kept her at home until Friday. She credited the ice cream shop with increasing traffic on her block since many people strolling by were eating ice cream. JR Formal is open and hoping for a bounce back for their business while Tri City Furniture, open all the time because of U-Haul, saw a normal amount of business but recalled a brisk business in refrigerators and freezers in the last few weeks. Shawna Fierro of the Vamp Salon on Pine Street was celebrating her first day back working on a client’s fingernails. As one would suspect, Shelia’s Elegant Salon was doing well, and Dominion Cuts was back in the beautiful old Valley Bank Building, well, cutting. United Jewelry was open as usual in their large easily socially distancing store.
The Antique Mall is open and doing a bit of business and according to Mona Weaver “No, it isn’t an empty building.” Up on the corner of Mesquite and Broad the old Bank and recent Tae Kwon Do Building, painted an agreeable green is being remodeled. Its basement full of time capsule items, what its new role will be is yet undetermined according to owner Douglas Underhill. Vida e Caffé and other restaurants on Broad St. and cross streets were attracting a brisk drive up business. Vida plans to open to sit down business next week as does the Copper Hen.” 6 a.m. Tuesday,” said owner Mike Stapleton. With so much space inside he only had to remove two tables and felt that they only needed to tweak an already high degree of sanitation. The iconic Leonard Paul’s Pizza will open during the next week, as will the Subway on east 60. Some cozier venues such as Bloom will continue with the present system. And many restaurateurs like the owner of Demarcos want to wait and see how things turn out for those that do open. Smaller venues may pay a bigger price for complying with limited occupancy rules. Nerd Burger, with one of the smaller interiors, plans to seat patrons on the patio.
Along with the up-beat attitude there were many different attitudes to masks. A stroll through Safeway and Fry’s showed workers all wearing masks while only about half of the customers felt the need. One said her grandmother was going to make one for her someday. Another had forgotten hers. One man said that he had to work around so many others none of whom wore masks, that if he got it, he got it. Some barefaced people waiting at restaurants were up from the Covid stricken valley or even farther afield. John Mediz at Copper City Rock Shop, who did good business on Friday, counted exactly two customers wearing masks, though he wore one. Even the crew of one sandwich shop wore no masks, but that was the exception. Globe-Miami is on the rise, but so are bare faced shoppers.