MOUNT VERNON — Monday’s fire in downtown Mount Vernon altered business plans a bit for some area store owners, while others are doing what they can to be open as much as normal. “We’re still open,” said Phil Herald, owner of Herald’s Appliances and Electronics. “It’s all right. People are still coming in.”
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Despite the fact that there is still the smell of smoke in the building, Herald is doing what he can to rid the smell that still permeates every downtown business. “Traffic is down a little bit, but we’re open (Tuesday) and Wednesday,” he said. With the electricity scheduled to be off in parts of downtown on Thursday, Herald said he will close his store that day.
“We’ll still deliver on Thursday,” said Herald, urging customers to call in on today to arrange for Thursday delivery.
LaPaloma Restaurant did not lose a normal day of business since it is normally closed on Monday. “Business is down about 70 to 80 percent today,” said Teresa Buena, who owns the business with husband, Ron, on Tuesday. “There’s really no place to park,” she said, adding that there is a
little smell of smoke inside, but not really bad.
J.D. Hudson antique store and Bead Therapy, both located south of Mount Vernon Nazarene University’s Buchwald Center on the west side of Main Street, were both closed on Tuesday. Jeff Dennis of J.D. Hudson said he hopes to open later this week, he said he is trying to air out the store.
Carol Seavolt, owner of Aunt Bee’s, was open on Tuesday but said, “It’s been slow; I’ve had maybe a handful of people in today,” adding she thinks many people believe they are closed or are even closing. “We are open; nothing is changing,” she said. “But it’s almost impossible to get here,” citing that Main Street parking is closed for the time being. She added that customers can park along Ohio Avenue or the parking lot to the south of Ohio Avenue to access her store.
Sip’s Coffee House was open Tuesday morning but closed early that afternoon, according to owner Russ McGibney. “There was just too much smoke, plus the weather didn’t help out either,” said McGibney. “We didn’t have much traffic Tuesday, but we plan to be back open on Wednesday. Hopefully, the rain will dampen this smoldering.”
McGibney said the facility will need to be wiped down top to bottom, and added he may need to seek a small insurance claim. “We have some pretty resilient folks down here, having gone through the streetscape project a few years ago. We’ll bounce back.”