Lido Beach reopens, bringing business to St. Armands Circle

Lido Beach reopened on Tuesday
Posted at 10:07 PM, May 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-19 23:31:35-04

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Lido Beach reopened on Tuesday after being closed for nearly two months to stop the spread of COVID-19.

On Monday, city commissioners voted to reopen the beach.

"We like this beach better than Siesta. It’s easier access not as crowded," said Todd Barron who visited the beach.

Restaurants and stores around St. Armands Circle are also back open for business.

Richard Washburn owns Drippin Wet Men's Store. It is one of the newest stores around the circle.

"We opened March 16, officially, and I think we were open for two weeks and we were shut down," he said.

The pandemic forced businesses to close around the state in March.

Washburn said the beach and nearby restaurants like the Columbia bring traffic to his business.

"The traffic on this section of the circle from the parking deck to Columbia, it helps a lot. I probably had 100 times better day yesterday than the Monday before," said Washburn.

The Chief Marketing Officer for Columbia Restaurant, Michael Kilgore, said the restaurant reopened on Monday.

"We've missed everyone since March 20 when we closed. It's great to be back. So far, business has been even better than we had hoped," said Michael Kilgore, CMO of Columbia Restaurant Group.

"We appreciate the commissioners voting to reopen Lido Beach. We support the decision, especially because so many other nearby beaches and parks were open," added Kilgore.

Businesses like The Spice and Tea Exchange put safety measures in place for customers.

"We've been open for about a week. We've taken every safety measure plus more so we've added sneeze guards where we didn't need them and all of the staff are wearing masks so we're taking every measure we can," said Paulette Callender, owner of The Spice and Tea Exchange.

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