SAVANNAH, Ga (WSAV) – Many businesses in Downtown Savannah were greeted with long lines again on Monday after an exceptionally busy holiday weekend.
Michael Meeks, the Co-Owner of Goose Feathers Cafe, said the crowds came as a great relief to many merchants after being forced to shut down for months due to Covid-19. The line outside of Goose Feathers was wrapped around the building on Monday.
“August is so slow for us, so we were just sort of anticipating or hoping that Labor Day would put a little bit more ‘oomph’ behind the weekend,” said Meeks. “Usually, what happens is they go home on Monday so you don’t see that movement like we’re seeing right now, but it’s pretty crowded.”
Meeks attributed the masses of people to the number of outdoor tables provided by the city. Usually, the cafe can seat around 85, but all restaurants are limited to half capacity due to Covid-19. His restaurant is now seating 42 people inside and around 20 outside.
“I mean, you close for two months, you have no income coming in whatsoever, and you know you’re trying to catch up, so this has been a real surprise for us,” said Meeks.
News 3 reached out to a number of hotels. According to a representative from The Alida Hotel, rooms were sold out Friday through Sunday there and at many of the hotels in the Historic District. Around 130 people checked out on Monday morning.
Some families also took tours of the city, supporting small shops like the souvenir store on the corner of Ellis Square. A cashier there, Georgia Brooks, told News 3 that she is so thankful for the business.
“I really didn’t expect the volume of people… My sales agent asked me the day before yesterday if I needed some tickets and I said, ‘I’m still good’ because I didn’t expect [the crowds]. Then before the end of the day, I called the sales agent and asked can you bring me one booklet because I’m out of the tickets already,” said Brooks.
Georgia Brooks called it a blessing for business even though their future still remains uncertain as the pandemic progresses.
Both Brooks and Meeks told News 3 that they are requiring all of their customers to wear masks inside and are grateful tourists feel comfortable enough to visit Savannah despite the coronavirus pandemic.