Pahrump area businesses are welcoming back customers after reopening during Phase 1.
Seattle Fish &Chips, which ushered in its Northwest flavors to Pahrump late last year, is getting back to business after the COVID-19 shuttered many businesses across Nye County and the state in mid-March.
“We aren’t sure how many people will feel comfortable going out to eat yet,” said Marla Vallee of Seattle Fish &Chips during the first weekend of Nevada’s Phase 1 reopening.
“We are only able to be at 50% capacity with 6-foot social distancing, along with extra disinfecting requirements,” said Marla, who opened the Pahrump eatery with her husband, Guy, at the end of last year. “We want to be sure we are doing all we can to keep everyone safe.”
The fish and chips restaurant was one of hundreds of restaurants to reopen for sit-down dining after Gov. Steve Sisolak ordered eateries across the state to turn to curbside pick-up in mid-March due to COVID-19 spreading in the state and across the U.S.
Seattle Fish &Chips did stay open for curbside but later closed shop for a period.
“We kept hearing that the most dangerous time for the virus to spread was the first part of April,” Marla said. “We felt the responsible thing to do would be to close during that time to be sure our employees and customers were not unnecessarily exposed. When that time passed and the numbers weren’t as bad as we thought they might be, we felt it would be OK to open at least three days a week for takeout or curbside service.”
The restaurant has faced some challenges with getting back to business.
“It is challenging to know how to staff,” Marla said. “We don’t want to cause our employees to not qualify for unemployment by working, and then not be able to provide the hours needed to pay them properly. We are taking it day to day at this point to know how quickly to hire our staff back.”
Business is good enough to keep a minimal staff employed and the doors open, according to Marla.
“As business improves, we will open more days until we are able to be open our regular hours with our regular staff,” Marla said.
Seattle Fish is recommending customers make reservations so that the restaurant can seat people more efficiently under the current spacing requirements laid out by the state.
Another Pahrump business, Let’s Chalk About It!, also reopened this month. The store brought a new style of “farmhouse decor” to Nye in the later part of 2019 and also had to shutter under the governor’s order.
“Our customers are so excited for us to reopen,” said Trina Stillian, a partner in the company. “Our regular customers have missed us, and we have missed them. Also, new customers are excited to finally be able to pop in and check us out. We love meeting new people and it has been exciting to welcome them into the store.”
The store reopened the first day of Phase 1.
“Business was great,” Stillian said. “We opened Saturday, May 9 for a parking lot sale. We had about 50 people walk through from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., many regular customers and some new. It was so nice to see customers able to get out and shop again.”
Stillian said, “We are just excited that our customers are not afraid to come into the store. We have been a bit nervous that things might be slow during this time, but we have hopes that the precautions we are taking are making our customers feel safe and welcome.”
The store owners are expecting and hoping for normal business to return.
“We are expecting and hoping for business as usual,” Stillian said. “We have changed our hours a bit to reflect summer hours. With the heat coming, you can shop an hour earlier so you can be home before it’s too hot out. We will now be open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday.”
The store, which carries antiques, restored and refurbished furniture and a line of “farmhouse decor” also got its start at the later part of 2019. The store is facing some challenges with reopening.
“One challenge we face with reopening is how to properly social distance in our small space,” Stillian said. “We don’t usually have too many customers in at one time, but our space is small and full of merchandise.”
The shop will also not be offering its complete line of services right away. The shop offered people a chance to make their own creations by offering classes.
“We are looking forward to opening up the schedule for classes again,” Stillian said. “We will be posting a list of available classes next month. One idea would be hosting a class via zoom. You’ll be able to purchase your kit, log in live to our zoom class, and follow right along.”
The shop is taking some precautions on reopening and the shopping experience is different than it was prior to the pandemic.
“We have posted signs for customers to help them remember to social distance while shopping with us,” Stillian said. “We have hand sanitizer for customers’ use if they wish to do so. We also have limited our customer capacity to 50% recommended by the state. Lastly, there will no longer be a public restroom available to any of our customers.”
Customers in the store at 1017 Basin Ave., Suite 7 will be asked to wear their face masks for precaution.
“We require any customer who may be running a fever, sick within the last 48 hours, or feeling some illness coming on, to please refrain from coming into the store,” Stillian said. “We are immune-compromised and our health, as well as our customers’, is our top priority. We will be sanitizing the store throughout the day.”
Stillian said, “Also, we post photos to our Facebook page often, so if there is a customer looking for something specific, we can still help them online or via phone! (702-806-1200). We also will continue to offer free curbside pickup and free delivery of large furniture items.”
In addition, “We are very excited to be back in the store,” she said. “We look forward to helping our customers craft and redo their furniture again during this stay-at-home time.”
Contact Interim Editor Jeffrey Meehan at firstname.lastname@example.org on Twitter @MeehanLv