TERRE HAUTE —
After being closed Monday because of the severe winter weather, Cackleberries was one of several downtown Terre Haute businesses and eateries that reopened Tuesday.
Cackleberries employee Timmy Popoff was back to work at 6:30 a.m. and ready to greet and seat customers, although there weren’t a whole lot of those early in the morning, as temperatures still hovered around 10 degrees below zero.
“There were some brave people,” he said.
Business picked up at lunchtime, and the ISU men’s basketball team ate a late morning meal there before catching a plane heading for Des Moines, Iowa, where it will play Drake this evening.
Popoff’s nephew had to pick him up on Terre Haute’s eastside because his car wouldn’t start. “This cold weather kills batteries,” he said.
Also working at the restaurant was server Amber Dunigan, who had a friend take her to work. “I was snowed-in,” she said. She couldn’t get her vehicles out.
During the worst of the bad weather, Dunigan said she tried to “stay in where it’s warm.”
Today, she’s supposed to start at 5:30 a.m., but thankfully it should be somewhat warmer.
The restaurant was closed Monday. The lot was covered with snow and people weren’t getting out much, anyway, Popoff said. “It was 10 degrees below zero; people couldn’t get their vehicles started,” he said.
Other downtown eateries hoping for a return to normalcy included Chava’s, J. Gumbo’s and Clabber Girl. Chava’s remained open Monday, according to cook Alejandro Garcia, who had to walk to work from the Farrington Grove neighborhood.
“We were kind of busy,” especially with many nearby restaurants closed, Garcia said.
Tuesday morning, J. Gumbos employee Jared Glass worked by himself for a while to prepare food for customers. The restaurant was not fully staffed because business was expected to be slower than usual.
The owner was running a little behind, trying to get his diesel truck started.
“We’re trying to get back to normal as much as possible,” Glass said. The restaurant was starting to run low on inventory because supply trucks were a few days behind.
“We’re hoping for the best, and we’ll see what happens,” Glass said as he awaited customers.
The Clabber Girl Bake Shop also reopened Tuesday, said Susan Royce, manager.
Staffing was limited “because we didn’t feel it would be very busy,” she said.
The Bake Shop reopened Tuesday because “we wanted to be of service to the community. If we could get here, that’s what we wanted to do,” she said.
Sue Loughlin can be reached at 812-231-4235 or firstname.lastname@example.org.