“I hear a lot from restaurant owners and small business owners who say they need people to start coming out.”
“I hear a lot from restaurant owners and small business owners who say they need people to start coming out. If you're going to urge people to mask up because that's safe, then why not also urge them to get out and support local businesses. There’s a real concern that pretty soon some of these businesses that have become inseparable from Hillsborough are going to go away and then we're going to have to see what it's like to live here without those landmark restaurants and shops. These are established, well-known places that are suffering by a large amount.
And then there’s the Colonial Inn, which has just been completely renovated and is going to be a masterpiece for downtown Hillsborough. It will bring people to Hillsborough for weddings, events, and for the experience of dining or staying at this historic building. They are holding off on the grand opening a little bit longer, trying to wait out COVID restrictions. It’s just really tough on them because they’ve invested so much and done an incredible amount of work.
Nightlife establishments also have taken a hit during COVID, of course. Yonder is a new, really, really nice place. It's got a lot going for it. They were breaking records, you know, business-wise, week over week and then it all just shut down and went away with quarantine. They have opened up a bottle shop now, but it's not doing nearly what they need to do to survive. They have a lot of frustration that they can’t serve what they want to serve, but you can go right around the corner to the restaurant and get what you could have gotten at one point from Yonder. They had just put in a whole new sound system, so they are chomping at the bit to get the music scene going again.
Hillsborough Arts has tried to patch together performances, including streaming performances that have been going on at Uniquitiques. She used to have live performances in the Boot Room. She has hundreds of cowboy boots, vintage, new. It's an amazing place. There are some local bands that say, ‘We want to perform in the Boot Room.’ So she's still on occasion doing some performances, but it's all streaming. It's keeping some people afloat and keeping them able to perform, but it's clear that it's just not what they want to be doing; they want to be in front of people." -- Dale #NorthCarolina