The village is open for business!

13 Jun

Things are far from being back to normal, but our village businesses are showing some signs of life.

Especially now that we have reached Phase III, village businesses are beginning to open their doors to retail sales again. What’s different is that staff members will be wearing masks (and customers should be as well), and there might be one-way tape marks on the floor and in front of the registers encouraging proper social distancing.

However, what hasn’t changed is that the same friendly owners and staff members will be there to welcome you, and they’ll be very happy to see you.

Frankly, I’m relieved to see that most of our village businesses were able to weather the pandemic. The one notable exception is The Pickled Paintbrush, which closed for good about a month ago. (But even that unfortunate news has a happy upside, which I’ll mention later.)

You, the loyal customers, are the main reason these businesses are still here. John Bucci, owner of The Music Store, 18 E. Main St., was blown away by the support his shop received while he was closed, making purchases via email, phone calls or online.

John Music Shop

John Bucci behind the counter at The Music Store

“Everybody was just being amazing,” he said. “People who needed a set of guitar strings, buying three or four, saying ‘We gotta keep you here, I gotta do what I can.’ Whatever they wanted, if I was even close to what they needed they were fine.”

He’s been in business for 31 years, he added, and always wondered “Does it matter? Then to hear the phone calls and the people going ‘Yeah, we got to keep you in business.'”

I also stopped by Nest Things, 11 E. Main, where owner Gail Maier took a few minutes to show me the beautiful garden she’s created behind her shop. Stop by for yourself and she’s be happy to give you a tour.

The Village Quilt Shoppe, 21 East Main, one of Webster’s newest shops, is also back in business after staying busy helping craft thousands of face masks for healthcare workers and social agencies.

Chandeliers and Performance Hobbies are also up and running again, and I’ve seen people popping in and out of The North Bee on North Ave.

But probably the most exciting news comes from LaLa of Webster, at 38 E. Main. After only a little more than a year and a half in business, LaLa not only weathered the storm, but is expanding.

Owner Lisa Schlonski will be expanding into the former Pickled Paintbrush space, which is right next door to her current shop. It will more than double the floor space she already has, including adding a third floor, which will become a clothing boutique.

Lisa hopes to finish renovations in just a few weeks, so watch for notice of a grand reopening party.

Plus, of course, the restaurants are opening up. I saw some brand new, beautiful patio seating at The Filling Station, and Barry’s outdoor patio is getting so busy that they’re taking reservations.

So let’s keep supporting our local businesses and show them how much we appreciate them.

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