Back to business

Saturday, May 16, 2020
Mitzi Doss, owner of Mitzi’s Gifts and Decor, 411 E. Broadway St. in Monett, looks over a display of new Wind & Willow products from a Mt. Vernon soup, dip and dessert manufacturer. Mitzi’s is just one of several local merchants that have opened back up since the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic quarantine and shut-down of non-essential businesses. Melonie Roberts/

Restaurants, merchants again open to the public

After having shuttered their stores in accordance with COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic restrictions on non-essential employment, local merchants are happy to be doing business again.

During Phase 1 of the re-opening, employers are required to maintain social distancing, calculate maximum occupancy limits based on square footage and maintain masking requirements for some service providers.

Hank Archer, a familiar sight around town, is pictured out and about on Broadway with his canine companions, Munchkin and Gidget. With weather finally beginning to warm and the mandatory restriction for non-essential travel and shopping finally lifted, members of the public are once again free to patronize local businesses. Melonie Roberts/

Local business owners have adhered to those requirements.

“We were busy last week, but this week, it’s been a bit slower,” said Mitzi Doss, owner of Mitzi’s Gift and Decor, located at 411 E. Broadway St. in Monett. “It is expected. People have been out of work, and they are short on money. But, we are thankful and blessed to be able to re-open to our customers. I still offer curbside service to those who want to continue that practice.”

One thing is certain to be changing for Doss in what state and national leaders are calling “this new normal.”

The Pearl Foundation playground at the the Glen and Sharon Garrett Park, adjacent to the Jerry D. Hall Memorial Pavilion on Front Street in Monett, is again open to the public. In the swings, from left, are Sawyer Davis and Haylen Mayhue, grandchildren of Brenda and Greg Davis. Melonie Roberts/

“I’m getting rid of everything in my store that was made in China,” she said. “I’m sourcing new vendors that provide only goods that are made in America. We have to get jobs back into this country.”

While much of her home decor, soup, dip and dessert mixes, jellies and other items are already manufactured in the United States, Doss is determined to purge her inventory of items made by foreign producers. And it seems as if Doss is not the only one to be making that change.

“Several of my vendors told me that I am not the only merchant that is making this decision,” she said. “They are now having to scramble to find goods manufactured locally that can sustain the demand. It may decrease what I have to offer for a short while, but anything in my store is going to have to be made in the United States.”

Mocha Jo’s, located at 404 E. Broadway in Monett, is once again open for dine-in customers. The business has placed a notice requesting customers maintain a six-foot space in line and that groups are limited to 10 people or fewer. Melonie Roberts/

Though Doss does not wear a mask when she is in the store by herself, she has one available if it makes her customers more comfortable.

“I sanitize and clean everything after a customer leaves, from the stylus they sign when they use a debit or credit card, to the door handles and other surface areas,” she said. “I also spray with disinfectant between customers.”

Linda Sitton, owner of Peppers & Co., located at 416 E. Broadway in Monett, is happy to see her long-time customers once again.

“A lot of people don’t know we are open,” she said. “But, I am so glad to be back. We were gone seven weeks. My husband and I went to our house at Lake of the Ozarks and this all hit. Everything closed down, and our kids told us just to stay put, so we did.”

Once the couple returned to Monett, Sitton and her employee, Donna Hammond, sat at the store and visited for the majority of the day, catching up with each other and all that had been happening locally with the pandemic.

“We are trying to stay positive,” Sitton said. “We’re hoping for good weather that will get people walking down Broadway again. We are just so happy to see our customers again.”

Those wishing to peruse the Hallmark cards and gifts at Bruner’s Pharmacy, located at 321 E. Broadway, will be pleased to know the gift store is once again open to the public.

The pharmacy, which kept its drive-through open for customers during the shut-down, is also open for walk-in customers awaiting prescriptions. Delivery is still an option.

Flying V Mercantile, a women’s boutique located at 219 E. Broadway, is also open to the public, but still offers curbside delivery and free shipping. Hours are Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Restaurants are also beginning to open up for dine-in customers. A list of local eateries includes:

• Monett Family Restaurant, 608 E. Broadway, open for dine-in.

• Happy House, 840 E. Hwy. 60, open for dine-in or carry-out.

• Rocco’s Pizza, 301 Hickory St., dine-in or carry-out.

• Angus Branch, 114 Chapell Dr., dine in or carry out.

• Big Baldy’s Bac Woods BBQ, 814 E. Hwy. 60, dine in-or carry-out.

• Southern Standard, 864 E. Hwy. 60, closed.

• Acambaro Mexican Restaurant, 505 Plaza Dr., drive-through only. The facility is currently under a remodel.

• Peking Palace, 535 E. Cleveland Ave., to-go only.

• The Brown Bag Break Room, 600 Dairy St., take-out only.

• Peking Palace, 535 E. Cleveland Ave., to-go orders only.

• Lai Lai’s Asian Buffet, 601 Bridle Lane, dine-in, drive through-and carry-out.

• Romy’s Restaurant, 107 Third St., dine-in and to-go.

Local banking services include:

• Arvest, 100 E. Broadway, drive-through only.

• Community National Bank, 901 E. Hwy. 60, drive-through only.

• First State Bank of Purdy, Monett branches: 106 E. Cleveland branch, lobby and drive-through open for customer convenience; Walmart location, 885 E Hwy. 60, temporarily closed.

• UMB, 500 E. Broadway, drive-through only.

• US Bank, 832 Hwy. 60, drive-through only.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: