Liberty businesses making big adjustments to keep customers safe upon reopening

LIBERTY, Mo. — Original Post

The city of Liberty is open for business.

From restaurants to mom-and-pop shops, the county’s stay-at-home order has been lifted. Businesses around the town square are ready to get back to normal.

Closed is still the reality for some storefronts in Liberty, but others are so glad they’re finally able to say, “We’re open.” The sound of cash registers is music to their ears.

Petals & Potpourri sells home decor, artificial florals and pretty objects all around. Owner Amber Hinton said they’re working to make the customer’s experience as pleasant as their inventory.

“Whatever we can do to make people feel more comfortable — that’s what we’ll do,” Hinton said. “We are willing to do anything. They can call the store and shop over the phone. We’ll text pictures. They can shop online. They can shop in the store. We’re still offering curbside pickup, and we’re offering private appointments.”

The store was closed for six weeks, and in that time they were able to launch their online shop. Hinton said it’s something she’d wanted to do for a while, but quarantine was the push she needed.

“We just want to be here for our customers and provide a safe and clean, comfortable atmosphere where they feel safe coming in the store,” Hinton said. “It’s a lot of changing. We’re doing a lot of things that we’ve never done before, but we’re here for our customers.”

Down the street at Hammerhand Coffee, they’ve been open the whole time, but decided to keep doing business at the door.

“When you account for two employees and then a line of two or three people then we only have four seats,” owner Alex Merrell said. “So at that point it’s more difficult to allow people to be in here than to just take orders at the door.”

Merrell said business is going better than he thought it would be. Liberty is loyal and keeps coming back for another cup, he said.

However, the first day back was not without bumps — hail, rain and hours without power.

“It’s just another thing that happened that we have to get through and be prepared and get ready for expecting our customers here,” Montoya said.

La Costa Mexicana was hit hard for about two weeks because of the pandemic. Owner Angel Montoya said for a while he was worried, but orders slowly started coming in, and he saw a light at the end of the crisis.

“We are working with Door Dash and Grub Hub, doing all the delivery, a lot of curbside,” Montoya said. “People from Liberty are very generous and supporting us through this time.”

Montoya said he’s working with Clay County to make sure he’s in compliance with all of their guidelines. The restaurant is open for dine-in at 20% of its capacity. Delivery and curbside will still be available for those who continue to quarantine.

He said he’s looking forward to a full restaurant someday.

“Can’t wait for that. Can’t wait for us to have our regular business and see our customers, and help them inside the restaurant,” Montoya said. “I can’t wait for this to end and for us to go back to normal.”

About half of the stores on the square are open for business as of Monday. Some have notes on the door saying they plan to not open for at least a few more weeks.

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