Wednesday, 14 October 2020 12:59

Getting back to business in Richmond County

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A sign on the door of Henry's Uptown Café in Rockingham announces that it will be reopening at the end of October. A sign on the door of Henry's Uptown Café in Rockingham announces that it will be reopening at the end of October. Charlie Melvin - Richmond Observer

ROCKINGHAM — Business around Richmond County is getting closer to normal since the government-imposed shutdown in response to COVID-19.

Hudson Brothers Deli held an unannounced soft opening Monday and announced Tuesday that it was back open for the first time since Gov. Roy Cooper shut restaurants down on St. Patrick’s Day in mid-March.

Cooper moved North Carolina into Phase 3 on Sept. 30.

Restaurants were initially allowed to provide take-out services only, but are now able to serve customers inside at 50% capacity.

Some local restaurants, including Pattan’s Downtown Grille, Sly’s Family Diner and Caddy’s Chill and Grill made it through the pandemic on take-out orders until indoor seating was allowed.

“We have taken steps to make sure our customers and employees are safe and taken care of,” reads a Facebook post from Hudson Brothers. “We have missed everyone and look forward to seeing you all. Just please be patient as we go forward with restrictions and keeping everyone safe.”

The post also mentions that the popular downtown eatery and bar is training new employees.

On the opposite side of the block, Henry’s Uptown Cafe has a sign in the door reading that it will reopen Oct. 26.

Peking Wok reopened its Chinese buffet late last month.

Cooper’s Phase 3 finally allowed bars to reopen — but with only outdoor seating. Some private clubs, like the Hide-A-Way Tavern, were able to open back in June if they served food, while other bars remained closed.

Double Vision plans to reopen Oct. 17 with a “Social (Distance) Party featuring country singer/songwriter Justin Anderson on the outdoor stage.

With the limitations on bars and restaurants, the live music scene has also taken a hit but is starting to bounce back.

Both The Berry Patch and Richmond Community College’s Cole Auditorium have been providing outdoor concerts, which continue this week with Dark Horse returning to the World’s Largest Strawberry and gospel group 2nd Chance Ministries taking the stage in front of the Cole, both on Thursday.

The pandemic hasn’t been completely bad for business.

The Richmond County Chamber of Commerce has had eight businesses join since March: Touch of Glo Spa and Tanning; The Best Choice Healthcare; Farmasi with Diane (an online business); Crystal Clear Thrifty Boutique & Services; MKM Jump and Play; The Esthetics Lab & Wax Studio; Shear Dimensions; and Tedder Trash Solutions.

During the past seven months, Olin and Lorraine Britton started their food truck business, Britton’s BBQ and Grill; and another food truck, Seafoodie, recently opened a stationary location in Hamlet.