Updated 7:50 pm
As part of phase one of the state’s reopening, a number of business types were able to reopen Monday, including retail storefronts and barbershops. But with the ongoing pandemic, the streets were quiet in Edgartown, Oak Bluffs, and Vineyard Haven, where the Vineyard’s storefronts are concentrated.
Rainy Day owner Melissa Scammell is taking phone and online orders, but said business is “not even close” to what it should be for the time of year.
“We’re anxiously awaiting June 8 so we can open,” she said. “Hopefully it’ll be June 8.”
June 8 could mark the start of phase two, which, barring any changes instituted by Gov. Charlie Baker, will permit shoppers to enter retail establishments.
Claudia Canerdy, owner of Claudia Jewelry in Edgartown and Vineyard Haven, said she’s been busy getting prepared to open. “I have worked a couple weeks to get it organized and ready,” she said. “I don’t expect much at all from curbside.”
She’s had two sales and two inquiries thus far — “better than nothing,” but not like Memorial Day weekends of old, she said. She hasn’t even opened her Vineyard Haven store. “I just can’t deal with more than one at a time at this point,” she said.
“There’s not a whole lot going on,” Brickman’s manager Vasska Fondren said. “Definitely not like Memorial days of the past.”
Edgartown Books manager Mathew Tombers was a bit more bullish. “It’s going well,” he said. “The phone has been ringing really regularly since 11 this morning.”
Tombers said he’s been leaving customers purchases outside the bookshop in blue bags.
Lazy Frog co-owner Jake Gifford said that from Frisbees to cribbage, most items in the store are available online. The store is offering free delivery across the Vineyard. On Wednesday, Gifford said, the Lazy Frog will celebrate its 15th anniversary. The store opened Monday.
“There’s not a lot of people walking by,” he said.
Phase two will restart Frisbee golf on the Vineyard, he said, and with it the Frisbee golf leagues.
With those leagues sidelined, he said, “It’s been just a really weird time.”
With hair salons and barbers allowed to open in the first phase, there’s been a flurry of activity.
Gypsy Barber owner Kevin Brooks said it’s more costly now to cut hair, as a new apron and new sets of gloves must be used for each haircut. Masks, of course, must also be worn. He pointed out beard work is presently unavailable, because there’s no way to do it with a mask on the person getting his beard trimmed.
Louisa Gould, owner of the Louisa Gould Gallery, said she’s been open year-round, with gallery offerings available on the web. She has been running a benefit art show for Island Food Pantry. “There’s over 77 pieces that are available,” she said.
Both her gallery and the artists give a percentage of sales from the artwork and jewelry to the pantry. This amounts to between 10 percent and 20 percent per item, she said.
Benefit sales have been sufficient “to keep going,” she said. Therefore, she said, she is extending the benefit until June 30.
She expressed her gratitude to repeat clients who are supporting not only the food pantry with certain purchases but artists in general with each purchase. “Over 60 percent of artists around the country are completely unemployed right now,” she said.
Salissa King, owner of Sea Spa Salon, said she opened her doors at 8 am Monday, and by Tuesday evening had seen roughly 50 clients.
“Women who had been waiting for their haircuts gave it to their husbands because they needed it more,” she said. King said it’s been hot and a bit awkward for her staff to work in masks and face shields, but the clientele keep their minds off that.
“Everybody’s been really happy,” she said. “Their spirits are high coming in here.”
King said her salon is not working at even 50 percent capacity.
By phase two, they will do body waxing and nails, among other things. She said “clients are chomping at the bit” for nail work, and she’s learned of some misguided home pedicures. “People have been trying to bribe us to do it on the side, but we haven’t succumbed to that,” she said.
By phase three, she said, they’ll be able to do facials, lash extensions, and makeup, among other things: “We probably lost 80 percent of our wedding business this year. So that’s a big hit.”
But she noted she expects her biggest October ever, as many weddings have been rescheduled for that month.
Updated with more businesses commenting. –Ed.