Since the end of Gov. Brian Kemp’s general shelter-in-place order a week ago, business operators and consumers have been figuring out how to re-engage with each other during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. While some businesses have reopened following weeks of closure, others are still evaluating when and how to start up again. At major retail centers in Cherokee County normalcy has yet to return. Many stores and restaurants are either still exclusively serving customers curbside or with limited inside services using virus control measures, while some remain closed all together. The Market in Woodstock, 5500 Bells Ferry Road, is set to reopen next Friday. The nearly 60,000-square-foot home decor store is home to 170 vendors and its popularity draws crowds. However the store was closed in late March in response to the coronavirus pandemic and owners Lisa Welty and Karen Bennett wrote off all vendor rent for April to help out. They turned to social media to continue to spotlight vendor products for online sales and offered curbside pickup. “The volume has been nothing like normal, but the vendors are happy we’re doing something,” Welty said recently. In a Facebook post The Market reported selling more than 2,300 items while the building has been closed. In Canton, The Cotton Mill Exchange and Reformation Brewery, both located at 225 Reformation Parkway, are following procedures to ensure the safety and well being of both staff and customers. The Cotton Mill Exchange officially reopened on Friday with regular store hours and guidelines for customers to follow. These guidelines include staff wearing masks, with shoppers being strongly advised to do the same. All door handles, carts, restrooms and countertops are being disinfected throughout the day and the floor will be taped off to keep six feet between customers as they wait in line. The store is also offering over the phone credit card purchases and curbside pickup for those who don’t feel comfortable going in the store, but still want to shop. At Reformation Brewery all employees wear masks and social distancing is encouraged for all customers. At the giant The Outlet Shoppes at Atlanta in Woodstock the center’s tenants are slowly opening up. On Monday the center’s website listed 10 businesses open and by Friday afternoon there were more than 20 and several more announcing plans to reopen in the next week. Seventy shops remained closed, according to the center’s website. Just after noon on Friday the parking lot was mostly empty and customers trickled in and out of the shopping area. Some wore masks, while most did not. At Canton Marketplace, the parking lots continue to remain much emptier than usual, with the exception of Target. Shoppers entering and leaving the store were a mixture of those wearing masks and others without. Canton Nurse Kim Brown is one of the people who is still playing it safe upon the expiration of the shelter-in-place order. “It feels great to be outside and do some shopping, but at the same time safety is still a concern,” Brown said. “I have my mask with me that I was just wearing when I was inside Target and I sanitize even more so than I normally do. Even with safety measures in place, I am still hesitant to go places, so more often than not I will just ride around and enjoy the scenery from the safety of my car, rather than get out and go to a store. I am just going to take it day by day.” While Target is busy, many other stores and restaurants in the sprawling shopping center are using caution. Stores like Best Buy, GameStop and Kohl’s have not opened their doors yet and are still only allowing curbside pick-up. Lowe’s, DICK’S, Petsmart, Books-A-Million, OfficeMax and Rack Room Shoes have all opened their doors and are continuing to allow for curbside pickup. Lowe’s and OfficeMax are also allowing delivery. Sport Clips is open for business. Bed Bath & Beyond remains closed. Dining options in the center offer a mixture of restaurants that have reopened their dining rooms and others offering only takeout or delivery. At Canton’s Riverstone shopping district, the situation is similar. AMC Riverstone remains closed, as well as Ross, while Belk re-opened its doors on May 1 and kept the curbside pick-up option available. Provinos, Five Guys, Okinawa Steak and Sushi are open for curbside or takeout, but not dine-in. Five Guys is also continuing to offer the delivery option. Other fast food options in the area are also following the no dine-in, takeout and curbside only guidelines. A few food options have opened their doors for dine-in services like Outback Steakhouse, Longhorn, Applebees, 7 Tequillas and Sidelines, while abiding by CDC guidelines and with limited capacity, as well as still offering curbside and takeout. Moe’s and Jersey Mikes are still only allowing takeout, delivery, or curbside services with no dine-in rules. Starbucks in Riverstone and Canton Marketplace are both continuing to offer delivery and takeout and will keep the dine-in areas closed. “It’s great to have some of these restaurants and businesses reopen their doors to us,” Canton resident Marc Morgan said. “We haven’t really been going out during the pandemic so it’s nice to finally do so for a little while.” Canton resident Ricky Morgan said there are still challenges that are faced everyday like finding toilet paper for instance, but he is glad that at least a tiny bit of normalcy is slowly returning. Other businesses in Riverstone such as Publix, Michaels and Home Depot are continuing to use curbside services, while also allowing in store shopping under certain guidelines.

Since the end of Gov. Brian Kemp’s general shelter-in-place order a week ago, business operators and consumers have been figuring out how to re-engage with each other during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

While some businesses have reopened following weeks of closure, others are still evaluating when and how to start up again.

At major retail centers in Cherokee County normalcy has yet to return. Many stores and restaurants are either still exclusively serving customers curbside or with limited inside services using virus control measures, while some remain closed all together.

The Market in Woodstock, 5500 Bells Ferry Road, is set to reopen next Friday. The nearly 60,000-square-foot home decor store is home to 170 vendors and its popularity draws crowds. However the store was closed in late March in response to the coronavirus pandemic and owners Lisa Welty and Karen Bennett wrote off all vendor rent for April to help out.

They turned to social media to continue to spotlight vendor products for online sales and offered curbside pickup. “The volume has been nothing like normal, but the vendors are happy we’re doing something,” Welty said recently. In a Facebook post The Market reported selling more than 2,300 items while the building has been closed.

In Canton, The Cotton Mill Exchange and Reformation Brewery, both located at 225 Reformation Parkway, are following procedures to ensure the safety and well being of both staff and customers. The Cotton Mill Exchange officially reopened on Friday with regular store hours and guidelines for customers to follow. These guidelines include staff wearing masks, with shoppers being strongly advised to do the same. All door handles, carts, restrooms and countertops are being disinfected throughout the day and the floor will be taped off to keep six feet between customers as they wait in line.

The store is also offering over the phone credit card purchases and curbside pickup for those who don’t feel comfortable going in the store, but still want to shop.

At Reformation Brewery all employees wear masks and social distancing is encouraged for all customers.

At the giant The Outlet Shoppes at Atlanta in Woodstock the center’s tenants are slowly opening up. On Monday the center’s website listed 10 businesses open and by Friday afternoon there were more than 20 and several more announcing plans to reopen in the next week. Seventy shops remained closed, according to the center’s website.

Just after noon on Friday the parking lot was mostly empty and customers trickled in and out of the shopping area. Some wore masks, while most did not.

At Canton Marketplace, the parking lots continue to remain much emptier than usual, with the exception of Target. Shoppers entering and leaving the store were a mixture of those wearing masks and others without. Canton Nurse Kim Brown is one of the people who is still playing it safe upon the expiration of the shelter-in-place order.

“It feels great to be outside and do some shopping, but at the same time safety is still a concern,” Brown said. “I have my mask with me that I was just wearing when I was inside Target and I sanitize even more so than I normally do. Even with safety measures in place, I am still hesitant to go places, so more often than not I will just ride around and enjoy the scenery from the safety of my car, rather than get out and go to a store. I am just going to take it day by day.”

While Target is busy, many other stores and restaurants in the sprawling shopping center are using caution. Stores like Best Buy, GameStop and Kohl’s have not opened their doors yet and are still only allowing curbside pick-up. Lowe’s, DICK’S, Petsmart, Books-A-Million, OfficeMax and Rack Room Shoes have all opened their doors and are continuing to allow for curbside pickup. Lowe’s and OfficeMax are also allowing delivery. Sport Clips is open for business. Bed Bath & Beyond remains closed.

Dining options in the center offer a mixture of restaurants that have reopened their dining rooms and others offering only takeout or delivery.

At Canton’s Riverstone shopping district, the situation is similar. AMC Riverstone remains closed, as well as Ross, while Belk re-opened its doors on May 1 and kept the curbside pick-up option available.

Provinos, Five Guys, Okinawa Steak and Sushi are open for curbside or takeout, but not dine-in. Five Guys is also continuing to offer the delivery option. Other fast food options in the area are also following the no dine-in, takeout and curbside only guidelines.

A few food options have opened their doors for dine-in services like Outback Steakhouse, Longhorn, Applebees, 7 Tequillas and Sidelines, while abiding by CDC guidelines and with limited capacity, as well as still offering curbside and takeout. Moe’s and Jersey Mikes are still only allowing takeout, delivery, or curbside services with no dine-in rules. Starbucks in Riverstone and Canton Marketplace are both continuing to offer delivery and takeout and will keep the dine-in areas closed.

“It’s great to have some of these restaurants and businesses reopen their doors to us,” Canton resident Marc Morgan said. “We haven’t really been going out during the pandemic so it’s nice to finally do so for a little while.”

Canton resident Ricky Morgan said there are still challenges that are faced everyday like finding toilet paper for instance, but he is glad that at least a tiny bit of normalcy is slowly returning.

Other businesses in Riverstone such as Publix, Michaels and Home Depot are continuing to use curbside services, while also allowing in store shopping under certain guidelines.

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Managing editor Gary Tanner contributed to this report.

Managing editor Gary Tanner contributed to this report.

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