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Small Businesses Launch, Expand During the Pandemic

When the COVID-19 pandemic erupted, nonessential businesses were forced to close. But one local business opened its doors, and another expanded during the pandemic. American Bistro 1 opened at Eastwood Plaza in June. Scott Berman, operating partner of the restaurant, said opening was intended to ease concerns about the virus. “News was filled with less-than-positive […]

When the COVID-19 pandemic erupted, nonessential businesses were forced to close. But one local business opened its doors, and another expanded during the pandemic.

American Bistro 1 opened at Eastwood Plaza in June. Scott Berman, operating partner of the restaurant, said opening was intended to ease concerns about the virus.

“News was filled with less-than-positive stories, creating heartache and uncertainty for many. We felt if we could responsibly create an alternative of new beginnings and hope, we should do so,” Berman said.

Berman said customers have been supportive of the restaurant, which offers safety features like sanitized menus as well as touchless ordering and payment options.

At Horrocks Farm Market, a greenhouse was converted into a beer garden, where patrons can sit at one of the picnic tables or chairs inside the building and around the fishpond.

Beer garden manager Jerry DiVietri said the development was not prompted by the pandemic, but the conversion was very timely.

“We wanted to open the beer garden last year but ran out of time for the season,” DiVietri said. “Even though it wasn’t a response to the pandemic, it worked out great with it being an outdoor area.”

Patrons can order pizzas and the facility features local food trucks on a rotating basis.

DiVietri said the beer garden is very popular.

“The public has been very responsive to the expansion in a positive way,” he said. “I think people just want to get outside in a safe … environment and enjoy themselves.”

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