Treasure Coast businesses anticipate reopening Monday

Bars, gyms, hair dressers will remain closed
Posted at 4:46 PM, Apr 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-30 18:38:12-04

STUART, Fla. — With the announcement Wednesday that some Florida restaurants and retailers will be able to gradually open back up, Treasure Coast businesses owners are getting ready to open their doors.

In Martin County, commissioners will meet Friday to make a final decision.

The guidelines issued by Gov. Ron DeSantis excludes Palm Beach County due to South Florida's higher amount of coronavirus cases.

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Starting Monday, restaurants from Martin County to Indian River County can offer outdoor seating with 6 feet between tables, and indoor seating at 25 percent capacity.

However, bars, gyms and hair dressers will remain closed until further notice.

Some businesses on the Treasure Coast are excited to reopen their doors next week.

Ellie’s Downtown Deli in Stuart has been open through the coronavirus crisis, offering delivery and takeout. But like many small businesses, the pandemic is burying its bottom line.

“We are completely, almost exactly half of what I was doing six weeks ago,” said Mark Muller, owner of Ellie’s Downtown Deli.

But come Monday, Ellie’s will fall under the governor’s phase one of reopening Florida, allowing restaurants to open at 25 percent occupancy with outside dining.

Muller is grateful but still unsure if that’s enough to bring back the two employees he let go.

“Next week we’re gonna go as we are right now, and if we see that 25 percent come back, and the patio comes back, everybody will come back to work,” said Muller.

Mark Muller, own of Ellie's Downtown Deli in Stuart, said he is hopeful he will be able to bring back the two employees he laid off during the downturn in the economy.
Mark Muller, own of Ellie's Downtown Deli in Stuart, said he is hopeful he will be able to bring back the two employees he laid off during the downturn in the economy.

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But Bikes Plus saw the opposite of many businesses. Shop’s sales have been soaring -- up 30 to 40 percent.

“With gyms and everything being closed people are looking for a way to work out,” said Jacob Childress of Bikes Plus.

The bike shop is considered essential, but other Martin County retail businesses can also reopen Monday at 25 percent of capacity under the governor's plan Monday.

Now, many people are waiting to hear from county commissioners about what happens next.

“I’d like to see a well-thought-out plan on how to go about all this,” said Childress.

County commissioners are set to meet at 9 a.m. Friday.

They can be more strict than what the governor announced, but they cannot be more lenient.

At Friday's meeting, commissioners are also set to discuss whether the beaches will or will not reopen in Martin County.

Below is the full list of items related to Florida's Phase One of reopening:

  • Schools continue distance learning until further notice
  • Visits to senior living facilities are prohibited
  • Elective surgeries can resume
  • Restaurants may offer outdoor seating with 6-foot space between tables and indoor seating at 25 percent capacity
  • Large venues like movie theaters will remain closed
  • Retail can operate at 25 percent of indoor capacity
  • No change for bars, gyms, and personal services such as hair dressers (they will remain closed until further notice)
  • Vulnerable individuals should avoid close contact with people outside the home
  • All individuals, when in public, should maximize physical distance from others
  • Avoid socializing in groups of more than 10 people in circumstances that do not readily allow for physical distancing
  • Face masks are recommended for all those in face-to-face interactions and where you can't social distance

DeSantis didn't specify when Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties will be included in Florida's reopening plan.

Reporter Ryan Hughes will be in Martin County on Thursday to talk to business owners preparing to open up after being closed since March. Refresh this page for updates and watch NewsChannel 5 at 5 and 6.