Open for business: few businesses stay open during harsh winter conditions


    Theo and Stacy's Restaurant adjusted their business hours but remained open for the regular customers who are loyal to them. (WWMT/Randi Burns)

    It was a quiet, but cold, Wednesday throughout downtown Kalamazoo because many businesses posted signs in their front windows.

    Signs that read closed due to inclement weather.

    "It's only the crazy Greeks opened, everybody else closed," Stacy Skartsiaris, owner of Theo and Stacy's restaurant, said while laughing.

    A few stores remained open downtown, but for their own reasons.

    "You can't be closed, never. We're open everyday of the year," Dean Hauck, owner of the Michigan News Agency, said. "Staff are sourced so that we are open because that's our reputation and we live by it."

    The Michigan News Agency has operated since 1947 in Kalamazoo and started at a newsstand.

    Hauck has has traveled across the United States and seen many tough winters.

    "I've seen much worse winters than this," Hauck said. "It was 1978, something like that. It actually snowed so much that our white awning fell. My Pop after that, actually if you're standing upstairs looking out, there are chains which actually hold it up and it's bolted to the side of the building."

    Hauck was not the only business owner who remembered winters past.

    "I was new, I did not know what blizzard meant, so I left at 2 o'clock in the morning, how I made it home I don't know," said Skartsiaris. "We did not get out until the Wednesday after. The snow was so bad we couldn't get out for a week!"

    Theo and Stacy's opened during the poor conditions to stay loyal to the customers who are loyal to them, but the hours were adjusted in order for the restaurant to close early Jan. 29 and Jan. 30.

    The restaurant planned to return to normal business hours Jan. 31, 2019.

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