Local businesses undeterred by winter storm; Planet Fitness enjoys successful opening day


Despite the storm and numerous closings, Planet Fitness Manager Corey Lee, pictured here on Wednesday, still saw a successful opening day on Tuesday. / W.C. Mann

CULLMAN – This week’s winter storm has certainly had an effect on the Cullman area, but a ride around town on Wednesday showed that a surprising number of local business owners were unphased by all the hubbub. 

Down in the Warehouse District and along First Avenue, some shops were closed, but the number of cars and OPEN signs attested to a “business as usual” attitude among owners and shoppers alike.

At Berkeley Bob’s, which opened late in the morning, Andrea Allison told The Tribune, “Berkeley Bob’s is doing great!  We’re just a little bit disappointed this morning, expecting a huge snowstorm that never came.  And we were just looking at all the different stuff on Facebook, and thought nobody was in town; so we just wished we would’ve opened a little bit earlier.  But we’re glad we made it in, and we’re glad Cullman seems to be hopping.

“It was just a little bit frustrating, as a business owner, to decide: do I open, do I not?  Do I promote people on the road?  But we’re glad we’re open now.”

At the other end of the First Avenue retail district, Rumors and Karma’s Coffee House were doing a brisk business.  Rumors owner Annette Harris shared, “It’s been good . . . I got Katie (Fine, owner of Karma’s) on the phone, and she was going to come in.  We kind of work together, and what I’m going to do–we try to do the same things.  So I called Katie and said, ‘Let’s do it!’  And I’m glad we did; she was steady this morning, and we’ve been steady so far.  So I just want everybody to know that we’re here and we’re open.  Yeah, it’s really cold outside, but once you get where you’re going, it’s not bad.  The roads are good.  

“You know, we’ve got lots of soup!  I made extra today: I made four kinds.  So yeah, it’s good, and we’re good to go the rest of the week.

Both Rumors and Berkeley Bob’s will observe normal hours from Thursday on.

Driving down U.S. Highway 31 through town, one saw many businesses open and showing little effect from the weather, though parking lots were generally not as crowded with cars.

Toward the south end of town, Planet Fitness was enjoying a busy second day after its official opening on Tuesday.  Clients whose businesses or schools were shut down for the day came out to help break in the new health and fitness facility, which features cardio training equipment, strength training, two training circuits, tanning and hydro massage beds, massage chairs, locker rooms and showers.

Manager Corey Lee shared, “It was great!  The city’s been great; the community was very welcoming.  Everybody’s loving it; nothing but smiles!”

A note on Rumors

Harris reported that some people are under the impression that Rumors has moved.  That change of venue will not take place until mid to late February.  The restaurant is still operating in its original location until then.