Even with no 'stay at home' order, normally busy Fulton streets sit empty

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FULTON – As cities like Columbia begin to implement “stay at home” orders for residents, other mid-Missouri cities are seeing similar effects, even without formal orders in place. 

In downtown Fulton, streets were mostly empty Wednesday afternoon. Parking sports, normally a hot commodity on weekdays, sat unused. 

At Brooklyn Pizza, the usually packed dining room was empty as well. 

“We’re probably doing a little more than half our usual business,” owner Brian Atkins said. “But it’s something we have to be flexible and work with right now.”

The emptiness in town comes even though Fulton has no formal “stay at home” order in place yet. 

“We’ve slowed down,” Beks Restaurant owner Garry Vaught said. “We’ve laid off a lot of people, which is really sad. There are people working for me that really need this job.”

On Saturday, Brooklyn Pizza switched to take-out and delivery only. 

“We have a waitress doing deliveries now,” Atkins said. 

Down the street, Fulton Café has started delivering by bike for the first time. At one point Wednesday, a local cab driver even stepped up to help deliver an order.

Right now, business owners are left waiting to see if more restrictions will be placed, including the possibility of a stay at home order.

“I don’t think it would affect us, I think we’re going to doing the same thing,” Atkins said. “In all the other places they’re doing it the restaurants are still available for delivery or takeout.”

Even so, feelings remain mixed among business owners. 

“I would not want to see further restrictions in our town,” Vaught said. “I like to think our people are smart enough to stay away from everybody and be good. Why should I dictate how people live their lives.”