CURWENSVILLE — On Tuesday, South Side Subs & Groceries of Curwensville opened up its front portion of its store to customers, as it had been previously doing pickup window service only since the coronavirus pandemic took hold in March. But after some customers berated the store’s employees — particularly about wearing masks inside — South Side Subs has decided to go back to window service only until further notice.
Owner Rachel Dixon said with the green phase being instituted in Clearfield County on Friday, they “were hopeful we could open the doors again and have people come in.”
Dixon said she spoke to a local representative of the PA Health Department and one of things required as a food service business was to have masks worn by both staff and those coming into the store, to which she said she knew there would be some flak about the matter. Dixon said while it technically isn’t a law, the masks are a guideline that businesses are encouraged to follow.
“The way (the representative) explained it to me is because you’re a private business, it is the same thing as ‘no shirt, no shoes, no mask, no service,’” Dixon said.
A sign was posted in the window stating masks were required. Dixon said she told her employees to politely tell the individual to please put a mask on and if the person cannot, an employee would bring whatever the customer needs outside.
“The majority of people came in with their masks on or had it in their hand and put it on as they were coming in the door,” Dixon said.
While Dixon said there were only a few people that did not comply, but “the few that were mean were incredibly mean.”
“I hire a lot of teenagers,” Dixon said. “If that were their child (they were berating), would they want their child to be subjected to that? As an employer, I can’t do that. I don’t feel good about letting these teenagers —who are supposed to learning what life is about and how to be a good person — I can’t let them go through that.”
Dixon said the restrictions are a burden on them as well, stating they don’t like wearing the masks themselves. But she is hopeful the sooner guidelines can be followed, the quicker things can go back to normal.
The business then posted a Facebook message on its page Wednesday night stating they would be reverting back to window service only.
“Not just from the Facebook post, but the overwhelming support we’ve have from people today, it’s just phenomenal,” Dixon said. “I cannot say thank you enough to people because they have been so supportive and it’s been wonderful. I can’t even explain how many people have been calling and placing orders and messaging us and being supportive.”
Dixon said with the ever-changing landscape of the pandemic, they will be window service only until further notice.
“I get it, it’s frustrating,” Dixon said of the restrictions. “It’s frustrating for us. It’s frustrating for our customers. But these kids (that were berated) are my family. They’re family, family friends, students in our community ... We just wish that everybody would think about things and be a little more kind.”