Some Retailers in Athens are Back Open, Others Still Shuttered< < Back to
ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) — In Athens, some businesses have re-opened but others were still closed on Tuesday afternoon. All non-essential businesses in the state have been closed since March because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine allowed retail stores to re-open on Tuesday under the Responsible ReStart Ohio plan.
At The Market on State, several people browsed at Dunham’s Sporting Goods for shoes and athletic apparel. The rest of the mall was largely empty except for two people having a business meeting and a man with two children in tow dropping something off at the title office. None of the other stores inside were open.
Further west on State Street, the employees at Shoe Dept. Encore were setting up price tags or greeting the handful of customers inside the store. One of these customers, Rhonda Williams, said she was buying shoes for her son’s upcoming wedding. Williams said she wanted to stop in at CATO or Marshall’s, but both were closed.
“The sun’s shining and at least some of the stores are open now, so that’s better than none,” she said. “I feel bad for the people who have been out of work.”
In uptown Athens, people enjoyed lunch on College Green or by the Schoonover Center for Communication. A family stopped by College Book Store for some Ohio University gear as other people lined up outside Brenen’s and Bagel Street Deli.
Inside Artifacts Gallery at the corner of Court Street and West State Street, owner Amy Mangano chatted with customers browsing the clothes, novelty, and jewelry for sale.
Mangano said she was glad to be back to work at her store, which she described as a “fun and funky boutique.”
“It was also a good break,” she said. “Had to make the best of it, so we did.”
Other uptown retailers Little Professor Book Shop, Cross Court, The House, and 10 West were also open on Tuesday.
Governor DeWine directed employees at all stores to wear face masks. Signs at many Athens businesses encouraged customers to wear a mask, and posted limits on the number of customers allowed inside. But most of the people walking or shopping uptown or on State Street were not wearing masks.
Barber shops, salons, spas and similar services can open on Friday, May 15. Restaurants can open for outside dining May 15 and inside dining on Thursday, May 21.