ESCANABA — There was an enthusiastic feeling in Escanaba Friday morning as stores and restaurants reopened after being closed since Gov. Gretchen Whitmer shut down the state in March due to the coronavirus.
Unlike most of the state, Whitmer eased restrictions on the Upper Peninsula and the northern Lower Peninsula on May 18 to allow retail businesses to reopen starting Friday. However, on Friday, Whitmer extended the state’s stay-at-home order, which now runs through June 12, and of the state’s emergency declaration till June 19 — leaving the U.P. in the unique position of being open for business.
Jesse Traub, co-owner of the Canterbury Book Store, located at 908 Ludington St, was hopeful to see customers arrive and show them how the books in the store have been organized. The store owners are following CDC guidelines and recommending customers do as well.
“There’s rarely more than one or two people in here at a time anyhow,” said Traub. “Mainly we’ve been disinfecting, cleaning, and organizing.”
Traub will have a plexiglass barrier installed to separate employees from customers at the register.
“We’re also working with customers if they don’t want to come into a public space yet,” said Traub.
Canterbury will be open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays. They can be reached by calling 906-786-0751.
Sue Parker said employees at Nyman Jewelers are following the CDC guidelines to keep themselves and customers safe while opening.
“We had a staff meeting to go over all our protocols and procedures … what is expected of us and what we can do for our customers,” said Parker.
Nyman’s has been cleaned and sanitized. Jewelry will be cleaned after it is touched or tried on by customers, which Parker says is normal practice. For repairs, the piece of jewelry will go right into a bag where it will for the customer to pick it up as soon as the repair is complete.
Nyman Jewelers is currently working under reduced hours, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday.
“Just for the time-being until we can re-evaluate,” said Parker.
Nyman’s is located at 911 Ludington St., and can be reached at 906-786-5033.
A customer in Nyman Jewelers said the U.P. never should have closed.
“Everybody has followed the guidelines and did their share, and now it is time to reopen,” said the customer who preferred to be identified as “Sharon.” “People are more than ready … and as far as Memorial Day, we should be celebrating it … it’s called commonsense.”
Morrison Shop Manager Judi DeCaire is eager to welcome customers into the clothing store. Customers will find hand sanitizer, the floor taped off to help keep people 6 feet apart, sanitizing wipes and employees wearing masks.
“We will have regular hours from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, and Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., or until the last customer is happy,” said DeCaire.
“We are just happy to be back,” she added.
The Morrison Shop is located at 1000 Ludington St., and can be reached by calling 906-786-1512.
Maia Roll took orders from people who drove up to Bobaloon’s Cafe food truck Friday morning. Currently, the restaurant is serving out of the food truck to keep contact with customers to a minimum and following CDC guidelines.
“People can call ahead over the phone or order online and pay so all they have to do is drive up and we can hand them their food and they’re well on their way,” said Roll.
On days the weather is favorable, Bobaloon’s will have a couple of tables available on the patio for those customers who would like to eat alfresco.
“It’s been nice to see customers again, even if it is from a distance,” said Roll.
Bobaloon’s Cafe is currently open 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and can be reached at 906-789-6169.
While waiting for his lunch, Bobaloon’s Cafe customer Brent Papineau said the food was good and he was glad the food truck was there.
Sears’ employee Rick Roll, warehouse and sales, said the store was open through the shutdown and he’s glad to see other stores opening up.
“I’m happy other businesses are opening up, getting people back to work,” said Rick Roll. “I hope it all goes good and (infection) numbers don’t pick back up. As long as we’re smart about it we should be ok.”
Sears’ encourages customers to wear masks and follow CDC guidelines when in the store, located at 322 N. Lincoln Rd. It is open from 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.
“We opened the doors at 10 and we’ve been steady ever since,” said Nicole Sexton, employee at Ashley HomeStore. “Which is good, I’m not complaining.”
Safety measures in place at Ashley’s include employees having their temperatures checked, sanitizing high touch areas, installing plexiglass up by customer service desk, having employees wear masks, and having procedures in place if an employees tests positive for COVID-19.
“We’re encouraging social distancing, too,” said Sexton. “We’re just happy to be back in business. This was a long couple of weeks for us … We hope people stop in and see us.”
Ashley HomeStore is located at 2222 N. Lincoln Rd, and can be reached at 906-786-7775. The store is back to its regular hours of Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.
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