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Local businesses brave the elements to remain open during blizzard

Sheshco Mediterranean Grill, Celebration Cinema and Jude's Barbershop all kept their doors open during Friday's storm.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Despite Friday's severe winter weather, Knapp's Corner remained a busy place with several businesses of all different types keeping their doors open.

For the hungry person willing to brave the icy roads, it was business as usual at Sheshco Mediterranean Grill. They say the beginning of the day was a bit slow until people started to realize they were open, with more customers coming by in the afternoon.

Friday is delivery day at Sheshco, so owner Hashem Naji says even if customers didn't show, opening was a necessity.

"We have to make sure to stock it and to marinate it fresh for the weekend," he says. "If we didn't open today, we can't open tomorrow."

A few doors down, Celebration Cinema's projectors kept rolling and the popcorn kept popping.

The theater says it’s able to operate with a smaller staff than normal of people who live nearby so they aren’t in danger on the roads. Assistant manager Steven Guinn says Christmas is the busiest time of year for the theater, so remaining open was important.

“It’s a nice warm place to sit and watch a movie," says Guinn. "Heated recliners, nice hot popcorn. I think there’s a lot of factors that play into Christmas being super busy.”

Guinn also says during storms like this, they stay open to provide a warm place to kill a few hours for folks who’s power or heat may go out at home.

In between Sheshco and Celebration, customers were able to still get their holiday trim at Jude's Barbershop.

"I was a little bit worried that some of my clients were going to have some shaggy looking Christmas pictures," jokes store manager Miki Mazzola.

And for her, even in a blizzard, that just won't do.

"We were hoping that we would stay open and the weather wouldn't be as bad as they say," she says.

Mazzola was the only one there, allowing her employees to stay safely at home. She still didn't want to give up on her customers, though.

"I would prefer to keep my staff safe, but I knew that we already had 100% booked," says Mazzola.

Her dedication, worth it to brighten people's holidays.

"Make sure everybody looks right and feels right to see the family," says Mazzola.

All three businesses plan to remain open as the storm continues on Saturday as well.

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