Life has certainly changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and businesses have had to change their practices to help keep their customers and employees safe. I spoke with a few of our local Englewood businesses who have adapted, following the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) guidelines so they can continue to serve the community.
Richard’s Foodporium, 471 S. Indiana Avenue, has remained open as an essential business, much to the delight of their customers. The staff is extremely conscious of maintaining the highest sanitary conditions. They disinfect the bin scoops after each use, clean all high touch surfaces such as refrigerator doors, shopping carts, counter surfaces, and entry door frequently and sanitize the store each day. Currently ten customers are allowed in the store at one time. Richard’s customers often say they prefer shopping in a smaller store environment and Richard’s offers healthy, organic, bulk snack items as well as vitamins and supplements.
If you have to take your vehicle in for service or a repair, you will be pleased to know that auto service centers such A-1 Auto Care are following CDC guidelines to protect both you and their employees. At A-1 Auto Care, all surfaces in community accessed areas are wiped down multiple times a day. Your keys and FOB will be sanitized before they are returned to you. Technicians will wipe down and sanitize all points of contact, including door handles, steering wheels, gear shift and any other areas they have accessed. They wear masks and gloves, which will be changed between vehicles. Communication and payment can be done in person, from your car or via phone. A-1 Auto Care is located at 2921 Avenue of the Americas.
R.J. LaBadie Construction, Inc. has continued to provide remodeling and new construction service during the COVID-19 pandemic. His office staff works from home as part of social distancing; Ray and his employees also practice this during the workday. If it is necessary to enter a home or business, masks are worn, and CDC safety guidelines are followed to protect both workers and customers. If you would like to see if LaBadie Construction can meet your construction and remodeling needs, you can learn more about the company at www.rjlabadieconstruction.com or call 474•8194.
Englewood loves its ice cream delights and the Arctic Alligator Creamery and A Better Scoop Ice Cream Shop found a way to stay open and meet the area’s sweet tooth needs. The Arctic Alligator at first offered online ordering with curbside or take-out options. The menu was limited and there was no inside service available. Now, with the relaxing of government regulations, they are operating once again with a full menu and limited seating inside. Curbside and take-out are still available. All high-touch surfaces are cleaned after every customer or every 15 minutes and the number of people in the store is still limited. The Arctic Alligator Creamery is located at 3385 S. Access Road and is open seven days a week from 4 to 9pm. A Better Scoop Ice Cream Shop, 70 S. Indiana Avenue, is open Wednesday through Saturday, 3 to 9pm.
You can feel safe shopping in Ivy’s on Dearborn as owner Karen Tyree is taking all possible precautions to protect both customers and employees. You are asked to wear a mask while shopping and the employees also wear masks. Hand sanitizer is available for use. The whole store was deep sanitized prior to its reopening. One fitting room is open and it is sanitized between customers. Any clothing or shoes that are handled are placed in a tent and sanitized before being returned to the floor. Ivy’s on Dearborn is located at 446 W. Dearborn Street.
Placida Fish Market went to curbside service when in-store service was suspended due to the governor’s and CDC guidelines but now has reopened to allow a limited number of customers in the store at one time. Jill Perry said the Placida Fish Market has adapted and evolved to follow recommended and required guidelines. The store interior has been rearranged and spaced to allow customers to safely browse the display cases. The self-serve stations have been removed and plexiglass has been installed. A hand sanitizer station has been set up by the door and customers are asked to wear face coverings. Employees wear masks and gloves. Chicken and pork are now available for purchase in addition to the seafood, beef and other items previously offered. The Placida Fish Market is deeply appreciative for and wants to thank all their loyal customers who supported the store during the COVID-19 situation. The market is located at 31 Chailett Road, Suite 5, in Plaza on the Cape. Phone 697•6666.
Kustom Firearms, 517 Paul Morris Drive, has adhered to all the required and recommended safety directives to protect customers and staff. Owner Karl Thatcher says that he has installed a vapor barrier that prevents any mouth aerosol being exchanged between staff and customers. All guns are wiped down with sanitizer every morning and after any contact by a customer or staff. He requests that customers wear a mask upon entering the store and use the hand sanitizer that is available. Only one customer is allowed inside the store at a time. He has suspended firearm classes until it is safe to resume them. He follows a disinfectant sequence when handling credit cards for a sale. Karl stresses that the public health and the staff’s personal health are more important than making a profit during this time so he is committed to following strict safety guidelines.
Wink’s Old Town Grill, 451 S. Indiana Avenue, offered curbside take-out during the mandated restaurant closings but now has resumed indoor service at the current reduced seating guidelines. Curbside is still available. Owner Eddie Piotrowski has arranged seating so there is six feet between individuals, not just tables. All items have been cleared from each tabletop and place settings are added when the table is occupied. Disposable menus are used, and condiments are brought to the table in individual packets when requested. All servers and cooks wear masks and use hand sanitizer between tables. Keeping surfaces clean and sanitized is top priority. The restaurant has returned to normal hours of 7am to 8pm Monday through Saturday and is open for breakfast on Sundays 7am to 2pm.