Ellen Hargreaves and her children, Penelope, 7, and Rafael, 5, fill ketchup containers Thursday while getting ready for their family business, Tabers Restaurant, to open in Auburn on Friday. Tabers will be open for curbside pickup starting at 4 p.m. Friday. Customers must place their order online or call in their order, Dan Hargreaves said. “We want to be safe and support the community at the same time,” he said. “No golf as of now,” he added. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

AUBURN — Staff readied 50 pounds of onions for onion rings in time for Tabers Restaurant’s first day of the season Friday.

It’s two weeks later than normal, the hours are shorter — four hours instead of nine — and customers are being asked to stay in their cars, but it’s open.

“It’s been a long winter and even longer spring,” owner Dan Hargreaves said.

At the Pampered Pooch in Gray, there’s a new system, starting Friday: They’ll bring a leash to your car and walk your dog inside for a nail trim and a cut while you sit and stay put.

At Orbit Hair Stylings in Lewiston, Richard Stone zipped around Thursday to local pharmacies to buy up as many face masks as he could. Stylists are donning masks, gloves, gowns and goggles come Friday’s reopening. They’ll stay open seven days a week to catch up on all the missed appointments.

“Our guests need us to make them happy and to get them out of the house,” Stone said.


A motley mix of retail businesses — drive-in theaters, marinas, dog groomers, salons, auto dealers, car washes, guide services and golf courses — are allowed to open Friday under Gov. Janet Mills’ four-stage plan to reopen Maine’s economy.

It comes with a slew of built-in precautions and relief that revenue will start back up for some after a long pandemic shutdown. It also comes with some trepidation.

“I really feel like it’s happening maybe a little bit too early, but no salon that doesn’t open is going to stay in business,” Stone said. “You either do it or you die.”

While many local salons announced on social media that they weren’t yet committing to an opening date, one in Lewiston said it had closed for good after eight years.

Tagli salon owners Brad and Ashley Edwards wrote in a lengthy post on Facebook: “We do not foresee a way that our stylists can make a living like they did before, in the new world we live in. … After seven weeks without any revenue, our funds have run out.”

At Reveal Salon and Day Spa, Karena Landry said stylists were deciding for themselves whether to come back to work Friday.


“We’ve had tons of messages (wanting appointments),” she said. “I actually feel really good, I’m glad to reopen.”

At Pampered Pooch, manager and groomer Toni Daniels said the shop was booked out until mid-May.

“Lots of people were sending us messages and calling, ‘Please, please tell us when you’re open again,'” Daniels said. Dog owners are after having “stuff done that we would consider essential — trimming around the face so they can see, trimming around their sanitary area, keep it clean back there, that sort of thing.

“It’s been difficult for all of us, we’re a small business,” she added. “It’s definitely going to be good to get things running again.”

Dan Hargreaves talk to his 7-year-old daughter, Penelope, on Thursday while getting ready for their family business, Tabers Restaurant, to open in Auburn on Friday. Betty Mills helps at left. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

Bridgton Twin Drive-In Theatre announced that it will open next Friday, May 8, with a six-part plan that includes parking at least 10 feet apart, allowing half as many vehicles and emergency bathroom use only.

“We will be only offering single feature showings,” the company wrote on Facebook. “The major reason is to reduce the need to use restroom facilities.”


Hargreaves said Tabers Restaurant will open from 4 to 8 p.m. for the next several days. He’ll decide on when to expand hours, and when to reopen miniature golf and the driving range, in the coming days and weeks.

The restaurant will employ a car hop-model for the first time with customers placing orders online or on the phone, leaving their vehicle make and model with the order, and staff running the food out.

“The unknown has been the most difficult part of all this,” Hargreaves said. “Once we finally are able to open (Friday), a lot of the questions and a lot of the anxiety will be diminished. I’m expecting to be very busy in that limited amount of time, and we’re doing this all keeping the public health in mind.”



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