SEDRO-WOOLLEY — The doors are open, the pinsetting machines are running, and Sedro 10 Bowling Alley & Deli Shez Café is open for business.
The bowling alley and Mediterranean café reopened last week after being closed since March 2020 due to COVID-19.
Business has been steady so far, owner Ellie Martinez said.
“Some people are very happy and say we made their day,” she said.
Martinez said she waited to reopen until government restrictions were lifted and more people were vaccinated. She anticipates it will take time for business to return to normal following the long closure.
“It’s quite a bit of work,” she said. “Now we have to start from zero and start to build a clientele.”
The renovated 1940s-era bowling alley had been open for only two months in 2020 before it closed for nearly 18 months due to COVID-19.
Sedro-Woolley resident Keith Patterson stopped in Wednesday for a gyro and planned to return for bowling over the weekend.
He said he has been checking back to see when the bowling alley would reopen, and plans to bring his two daughters, both avid bowlers, and a new grandchild.
“We were hoping the bowling alley would make it through,” Patterson said.
He thinks the business will do well because many in Sedro-Woolley support small businesses.
Martinez said she is thankful for the community support and COVID-19 relief grants she received. She said the grants were critical in helping pay staff and other business expenses.
She has hired two new employees, but like other businesses has had a difficult time finding staff.
Though COVID-19 cases are once again surging, Martinez said she doesn’t believe businesses will be required to shut down again.
She said masks, now required in public indoor spaces by state mandate, can help keep people safe.
After a year-and-a-half of the pandemic, Martinez said she has learned things could change at any moment.
“My hope is to do business and have fun,” she said.