Shauna Titus, a manicurist at New Wave Salon in Cheyenne, was happy to welcome her clients back after five weeks off, even if it means they both have to wear masks during the appointment. She was allowed to return to the booth she rents on May 1.
“It was different, for sure. It feels less personal wearing masks, and it definitely gets tiring wearing them, but we’re all glad to be back and get to make money and see our clients,” Titus said.
There are eight independent contractors who rent a booth at New Wave Salon. There was enough distance between the work stations except for Titus’, who moved, so no real changes were necessary. They also had to eliminate their waiting area.
Titus’s appointments must be scheduled further apart than one hour now, as there has to be time scheduled in for additional sanitizing.
Susie Stults is the owner of The Office. The Office is a local restaurant and bar that was established in 2018. Beginning on May 1, The Office and other dine-in establishments were allowed to have up to five customers in the building at a time to wait for food while they stood six feet apart.
Stults is looking forward to opening the dining room back on May 15. Business dropped off right before St. Patrick’s Day, but they made it through the holiday, then closed doors to dine in on March 20. They went to curbside pick up and delivery.
Stults will remove every other table and limit the seating to six to a table in the restaurant and every other chair at the bar to meet the requirements set forth in the Governor’s orders for reopening. By doing this she expects the restaurant will be at about half capacity. She is not exactly sure how it’s all going to play out, but she is trying to get ready for whatever comes along.
“We know it’s going to be not like anything we knew before,” said Stults.
She said that customers might need to call in advance, that it’s probably going to be reservation only and possibly timed seating.
“It’s not going to be one of those things that you want to get out and go to right away by any means cause it’s going to be a nightmare to get in,” she said.
Alf’s Bar is not planning a special party for the reopening of the bar on May 15.
“I would have liked to, but in the governor’s orders you can’t have any bands, you can’t have any karaoke, you can’t have any DJs, you can’t have any basically planned parties like big events because you are limited to 25 people,” said Bryan “Alf” Grzegorczyk, the owner. He said that the bar would just have a basic reopening and hoping that come 4 p.m. there wouldn’t be too much of a problem with capacity. He’s moved his tables six feet apart from each other and even added 25 seats outside so people have room to wait for an available table.
Grzgorczyk was able to keep his 10 employees on the payroll by paying them out of his own pocket. With the new regulations, he’s also hired an additional staff member to sanitize whenever customers are finished with their tables and to make sure people keep correct social distancing. He’s excited to see his customers come back.
There were no layoffs at The Outlaw Saloon either. Curtis Crowton, who took over ownership in September, was approved for a Paycheck Protection Plan loan. While the bar was closed, Crowton and his employees used that time to repaint and deep clean every surface. Crowton uses a food-safe material to kill Covid-19 called Electric Bioxide. In the event that there is a Covid-19 incident, he’s prepared himself by bidding out the cost of the company fogging his building.
The Outlaw Saloon is ready for May 15. Crowton has someone scheduled to do nothing but sanitize while they are open. That worker will wipe down bathrooms, doors and handrails three times a day and clean a table
“We’ll have a door person that will seat groups and assign them to their areas so that we don’t have to worry about as much commingling between groups,” Crowton said. “Hopefully they adhere to the orders to help let us stay open.”
The Outlaw Saloon is the biggest bar in Cheyenne. At 24,000 square feet on the main floor, there is plenty of room to keep tables six feet apart; this allows approximately 100 patrons in the bar at a time. With the front and back patio open it allows the breezes to blow and brings the customer count up to approximately 150.
Crowton has check sheets for staff members also to make sure they are feeling well.
Openings are contingent on what the statewide data says. “We must continue to be vigilant and we must realize this is not a simple return to the old way of doing business before this pandemic began,” Gov. Gordon said in late April. “This is the way we reawaken our economy and move forward.”