COLORADO SPRINGS — Restaurant owners have been forced to adjust and adapt during the COVID-19 pandemic, including a local ice cream shop, that moved one of its store fronts.
John Krakauer, the owner of Josh and John's Ice Cream, wanted to move his shop to a new location in the middle of winter, in the midst of a pandemic. He had a number of reasons for doing so.
"One of the advantages of opening up now, is that we could take into consideration the things that make the store safe," said Krakauer. "We put together a store that was exactly what we wanted."
The shop has been a staple in the Colorado Springs community for 35 years. The new storefront opened up two weeks ago on the corner of Tejon St. and Boulder St.
"We needed to move out of the core of downtown. We wanted to move to the area that I consider more family friendly," Krakauer.
With the move, he was able to design the new location keeping COVID restrictions and customer safety in mind.
One of the features, is a large garage door than can be opened. Staff will open it when it's above 50 degrees, so there's better airflow.
"We've always liked the idea of an indoor/outdoor space, but it became more critical, I think, when COVID came," said Krakauer. "I don't know that we would have done that without COVID, but now that it happened, I think it's a good long-term solution."
Another feature is a large fan in the middle of the shop for increased ventilation, which the health department recommends. There's also a 'grab and go' section at the front of the shop.
"You have about ten feet to go and you can buy pints and things to make sundaes. You don't have to come through the line and work with a scooper. You pay with the kiosk," said Krakauer.
Registers have also been placed six feet apart so employees can maintain social distancing.
Krakauer says sales were down 25% to 30% during the pandemic, but he understands sometimes you have to take a step back to move forward.
"We struggled a little bit, but we feel fortunate however because we were able to keep our doors open," said Krakauer. "Hopefully COVID is on the way out the door. These are things that I think improve cleanliness and improve sanitation moving forward."
The shop is open at 25% capacity. Krakauer says the winter months are typically slower for business than the summer months. Winter hours have been reduced, and when it begins getting warm out, the shop will resume normal hours.
There are four Josh & John's locations, including three in Colorado Springs. The other is in Fort Collins. All four locations remain open at this time.