Youngstown businesses reopen doors as YSU students return to campus

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Businesses like Stonefruit Coffee and Pressed Coffee Bar and Eatery closed down when COVID-19 hit

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Classes are back in session at Youngstown State University and businesses nearby are excited to see familiar faces again.

“Without campus being open, I don’t know if we can be open. We are very much a store that is dependent on YSU, so when we heard YSU was reopening, obviously we were pretty elated,” said Josh Langenheim from Stonefruit Coffee.

Businesses like Stonefruit Coffee and Pressed Coffee Bar and Eatery closed down when COVID-19 hit.

Pressed even had to lay off its workers for those five months. It wasn’t until YSU started back up that they both opened their doors again

“We didn’t really know what to expect. I think everybody was receiving the message that they really wanted to go back, but of course whatever was safe for everyone to do. I mean, it was a worry, but everyone had to be safe first,” said Frank Tuscano from Pressed.

North of campus, Culturehouse Coffee remained open through the pandemic but adjusted its hours. Now that campus is back open, they’ve seen more business too.

“I’m super thankful that they’re back and trying to do their best to work around what’s going on. I think they’re doing a good job and I think it’s going to help local businesses that are here close to campus,” said Stephen Protheroe from Culturehouse Coffee.

All three say business has been steady, but things are far from business as usual.

“Traditionally, we’d be dealing with a line most of the day, so if you don’t see a line coming out of the door, we’re really not normal,” Langenheim said.

“We’re not quite where we were. We’re probably down 30%, which is a lot but way better. We’re definitely managing, doing well, but it’s definitely a change,” said Tuscano.

It’s a change that they’re still adjusting to, but they’re doing all they can to keep their doors open.

“We’re doing everything we can to be a part of the solution, not part of the problem because we do not want to shut down at all,” Langenheim said.

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