CLEVELAND — Geiger's announced it will not be reopening its downtown location due to the COVID-19 pandemic and damaged sustained during civil unrest following the death of George Floyd.
“The core central districts in our communities are struggling because of the minimal foot traffic,” Chas Geiger said.
The winter outdoor clothing and gear store has been closed since early June after being looted on May 30.
As the old adage states, “as one door closes, another one opens.”
“We need to do our part in giving downtown that spark that will encourage people to still want to walk around and be down here,” Kelly Kandah said.
As some businesses like Geiger’s are closing up shop due to financial constraints, others are making plans to reopen in the coming months.
“I had a lot of regulars,” David Ina said. “It's been very hard not seeing people every day.”
Ina owns Zaytoon Lebanese Kitchen and said fewer commuters and a dwindling lunch crowd forced him to close his doors in July, but he plans to reopen in February with adjusted hours.
“It will be Monday through Friday since traffic is pretty light on the weekends,” Ina said.
Colossal Cupcakes also closed its downtown storefront following civil unrest in May 2020 and has relied on its North Olmsted location to stay afloat.
“I was sort of in a fight or flight period of my life with my store,” Kandah said. “I’m still doing catering. We've had so much support from our clients and community.”
Kandah said she will spend the next month finalizing renovations at her downtown storefront and plans to reopen on the ninth anniversary of the bakery’s birth in March.
“I don't know for sure what's going to happen, but I'm trying to keep my faith in myself, in the city, and in my business,” Kandah said.
Geiger is still operating his family business at its Lakewood and Chagrin Falls locations and said an eventual return to downtown Cleveland isn’t out of the realm of possibility if the once-bustling business district bounces back.
“If the economic conditions are right, we would definitely be looking to come back to Downtown Cleveland. Unfortunately, right now it's just not the right time for us,” Geiger said. “We need travel. We need entertainment. We need sports. We need our wonderful theater district.”