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Carytown businesses hope sales blossom as Richmond reopens

Posted at 1:13 PM, May 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-29 13:13:00-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- As the Phase One reopening in Richmond began Friday, some businesses in the Carytown shopping district prepared to open their doors for the first time in weeks.

The Pit and the Peel juice bar was one of several Carytown restaurants that opened its patio seating Friday.

For Tommy Autry, owner of Tommy's Garden in Carytown, the work never stopped during the shutdown, but the neighborhood certainly changed.

"We've noticed that it's kind of a ghost town now,” he said. “We only see walkers and runners. No one going inside the shops.”

Autry's flower shop shares a building with Karina's Salon, and Les Crepes restaurant. He added that since both of those businesses had been impacted by the stay-at-home order, the building had been quiet.

But Friday, which marked Phase One reopening of Richmond, changed that.

"The hair salon opened today of course, and we've already had a couple of clients pop in to say, 'Hey Tommy,'" Autry said.

Beth Ouellette was one of them. She stopped by for her first hair cut since January.

"I’m not a ponytail girl, but I’ve become a ponytail girl or a hair clip, pulling it up in a hair clip," said Ouellette. "So I was like, ‘I can wait, I can wait,’ and then this week I was like -- ‘no I can’t wait.’"

Fortunately for Ouellette and other clients who showed up for their appointments Friday, that wait was over.

Autry said he planned to enjoy the first day of reopening by supporting his neighbor, Les Crepes, and doing something he hadn't in a while.

"Tonight we may come over for dinner with my family, just to sit outside and get out of the house for a minute," Autry said. "We’re very excited about it to be able to go out and have dinner outside somewhere because it has been a long time."

In addition to Richmond entering Phase One reopening, the statewide mask order also went into effect Friday.

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