The economic shutdown has had an adverse effect on some local businesses who will not reopen this week.
According to Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear's Phase 2 plan to reopen businesses — under strict social distancing guidelines and sanitary precautions — some government offices opened their doors on Monday, May 18. Retail stores and restaurants would reopen on Wednesday, May 20, but with new guidelines and at one-third to one-half of their capacity.
In the April video from the London Laurel County Economic Development Authority by Executive Director Paula Thompson, at least four local businesses that closed during the pandemic will close permanently.
Those businesses include Sleep Outfitters, located in the London Marketplace on Ky. 192; Allen Dental, located in the London Shopping Center; Madison Avenue, located in Shiloh Landing off West Ky. 80; and Laurel Fitness, in the Dogpatch Trading Center, also off West Ky. 80.
Gordmans in the London Shopping Center is another store that will close permanently after its parent company, Stage Stores, filed for bankruptcy last week. Gordmans was previously operated as Goody's, which was bought out by Stage Stores in 2017. Gordmans will reportedly reopen and will liquidate its stock before closing permanently closing unless the business is purchased by another company.
The failure of Stage Stores to acquire financial funding after reported low sales in 2019 and the COVID-19 pandemic is a factor in the decision to close their retail stores. Stage Stores operates off-price brand new clothing, footwear, cosmetics, accessories and housewares under the names of Gordmans, Bealls (which includes Burke's Outlet), Peebles, Stage, Goody's and Palais Royal.
However, Thompson mentioned several new businesses that will be making their appearance in the Laurel community in the coming months.
Starbucks has remained open with drive-thru service during the pandemic but has taken the opportunity to upgrade their facility. They have relined their parking area, sports a new exterior decor, upgraded the inside of the business and added outdoor seating.
McQueen & Co., located on Childers Drive beside Super Nails, is also opening and is a full service salon with cuts and styles, waxing, eyelash extensions and other services.
Butcher's Pub purchased the former Dreaming Creek Brewery on Main Street and is expected to open in fall 2020 or early 2021. Butcher's Pub offers sandwiches and food items such as chicken nuggets, fried pickles, chicken wings, grilled chicken, fish and chips, pulled pork, corned beef Reuben, open faced pot roast sandwiches and salads. This is the third location for Butcher's Pub which was launched in Pineville, Ky.
25 Produce opened in April and offers fresh garden items as well as specialty items. It is located just past the entrance to Levi Jackson Park on U.S. 25-South.
The former London Town Mall motel on South Main Street is being renovated to reflect the current trend of retro motels. Renovation is ongoing at this time.
As more and more businesses open as the restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic are eased, social distancing and frequent sanitizing will remain in effect until further notice.