NORFOLK, Va. (WVEC) — “Farewell Florence.” That was the message around Norfolk Saturday.
For many restaurants and businesses, Saturday was their first day reopening after closing in anticipation of the storm. Press 626 Wine Bar closed Thursday and Friday, employees moved furniture and goods to safety out of fear they’d suffer flood damage. The restaurant’s manager, John Tise, decided to open earlier than usual on Saturday, an effort to recover from two days of lost business.
“It’s a tough decision for small businesses to close. We rely on our regular support every day and every week,” said Tise.
He decided to place a sign outside of the restaurant. It read: “Farewell Florence.” The restaurant even offered customers Happy Hour on a non-weekday, hoping to bring customers through the door.
“The sign is really just kind of, my way of saying farewell to our hurricane,” said Tise.
Right down the street, that message echoed. Another sign outside of The Green Onion read: “Come celebrate Florence’s departure with us.”
“We are very happy to not be affected as much as we could be,” said Tise.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to those people that were affected. We are so grateful. just cause we all know Norfolk and how much it can flood.”
Colley Ave. was filled with people out and about Saturday evening. It was a sharp contrast from a couple of days back, when closed businesses led to empty streets. One couple, Tony and Casey Fryer, stepped out for dinner after spending the past couple of days inside their home. They’re both teachers, relieved this area wasn’t affected and they can go back to their normal routine.
“We’ll be able to just go outside, walk the dogs, enjoy outside time, go places in ‘zone A.’ We like to go downtown, to the library, different stuff that we can do that we can do that we weren’t cleared to do the past few days,” said Casey Fryer.