Cabin fever boosts turnout at businesses that open after snowstorm

Posted January 18, 2018 6:22 p.m. EST

— Aside from gas stations and restaurants, many area businesses had "Closed" signs in their windows on Thursday.

Figuring pleas from state and local authorities for people to stay off slick roads would keep most customers away, the businesses decided to take a snow day themselves. But businesses that opened their doors found some very happy customers.

As the sun melted some of the ice off area roads, people started to venture out in search of something to do.

Chris Powers, co-owner of Trophy Taproom in south Raleigh, said he and his staff got in early Thursday in anticipation of a busy day.

"We've had a lot of phone calls at all the locations. People are kind of getting a little stir crazy at the house or maybe tired of eating leftovers," Powers said.

That was the case for Zach and Gabby Wiley and their dog, Harper, who stopped by the Maywood Avenue brewery about the same time it opened its doors. They said they checked Instagram to find someplace nearby to get out.

"Cabin fever," Zach Wiley said. "She was finishing up some work, had some meetings and stuff and just couldn't take it any longer, so we came out."

About half of the crowd at the brewery on Thursday afternoon were teachers, who like their students appeared to be enjoying a second straight snow day.

Unlike many businesses, Trophy benefits from a lot of neighborhood foot traffic. That was especially true Wednesday evening, when driving was amid the falling snow was almost impossible.

Powers said the brewery started getting calls at noon and stayed busy till closing time at 10 p.m. He said he expects the same for Thursday night, even though roads are still bad in a lot of places.

"We just try to communicate that we're going to be open. We want to make sure that our staff gets here safely, so we rely on people who live downtown or within walking distance, or myself or our partners will try to throw in and help where we can," he said. "If we talk about it and tell people about it, I think people are going to walk around. I mean, it was so pretty out last night. People were out looking for something to do, and we were there."