German Village Gazette

Merchants: Slow January not helped by bitter cold

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Even a tempting hot dog smothered in chili can't bring hungry people out of the cold and into Village Coney.

"It's little slow. When the weather gets too cold nobody wants to be out and about," said manager John Graham, who says the restaurant is always a little quieter in January.

And cold it is.

For the second time this winter, a polar vortex has caused the temperatures to plummet, sometimes into subzero territory, with blustery wind chills making things even more unpleasant -- even dangerous.

Greg Gamier, owner of Village Pet Supply, says patrons have been buying up his custom fleece coats, pet-safe ice melter and ample supplies of pet food.

"Otherwise, it stays pretty steady, even in the cold," Gamier said.

"At this time of year everything slows down a little after the holidays, but dogs have to eat, and so do cats."

Duane Glass, owner of Capital Roofing and Remodeling, which has serviced the local area for more than 40 years, said he's put off some outdoor jobs because of dangerous conditions.

Rooftop snow covers ice, making things risky for people who work outdoors.

"The snow's slowed me down," Glass said.

And then, of course, there's the cold.

"If you want to get out there you've got to dress like an Eskimo, then it's hard to move around," Glass said.

Frank Varian, an employee at Cup O' Joe, said the coffee shop has experienced a drop in morning business.

"People are definitely more apprehensive about getting their morning coffee on their way to work," Varian said.

"I guess it's more of hassle to park, walk over and get a cup of coffee."

At least the hot chocolate is flowing at a robust pace.

"We probably go through 3 to 300 gallons of hot chocolate mix a day," Varian said.

Other beverages, understandably, aren't selling as well.

"Nobody's even thinking about our iced tea or iced-coffee selections," he said.

Chris Pack, general manager of Old Mohawk restaurant, said the first arctic blast that hit central Ohio several weeks ago kept more people away.

"I think people weren't used to the cold," he said.

He said he's selling a lot more soup -- turtle, French onion and tomato basil -- these days, and more whiskey and vodka, and less beer.

And customers are sitting as far away from the entrance as they can.

"Nobody wants to sit by the door," Pack said. "That's the last table to go."

Karen Early, manager of Mary B's, an arts and crafts store, has a rather matter-of-fact attitude toward the chilly temperatures.

"The weather has a lot to do with people being out," she said.

"That's just the way it is for the restaurant business, retail business."

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