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Monroe County businesses reopen under yellow phase

The easing of restrictions has allowed businesses to partially welcome customers back inside and restaurants prepare for next Friday and outdoor dining.

TANNERSVILLE, Pa. — It's been a long wait for businesses in the Poconos, who have kept their doors closed during Governor Wolf's stay at home orders, including here at the Shoppes at American Candle.

"It's fabulous! Finally back to normal life, as normal as it is. We had people at the door right away," said American Candle Manager, Susan Hunter.

Last week, the Governor announced Monroe County would move to yellow, easing some restrictions.

Since then, employees have been preparing the store with the proper guidelines to welcome customers for the first time since March.

"We've been working very hard on our store while we were closed so that everything is great for everybody. It's time to shop and have fun," continued Susan.

Employees say they've been able to do online orders for candles and curbside to go for ice cream, but it's great to have customers walking around shopping in the store.

Lots of those customers make a special trip to come here.

"I'm originally from New York and we used to travel to the Poconos just to come here. I needed this for my kids, it's kind of like an escape," said Fanny Chico from Roxbury Township, New Jersey.

"Oh, it's so nice! It's human interaction! I never thought I'd miss it. It's like, I can talk to you!" said Helana Hunter, an employee at American Candle.

Restaurants in the Poconos have also adjusted their business model to move forward.

"It almost felt like, for a while there, overnight things were changing daily.  We've had a great team that's rolled with the punches," said Stephanie Rath.

Rath is the General manager at Barley Creek near Tannersville.

They're happy about the yellow phase, but even more excited for what's to come on June 5th: outdoor dining.

"We're looking forward to exceeding and meeting all the social distancing, safety, and sanitation guidelines that are set forth and welcome our customers back safely. We are excited to see them and have them join us again," continued Rath.

Stephanie says they've also got a project in the works to add more dining space to their outdoor Biergarten area to accommodate customers with a Poconos touch.