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Jackson, Josephine, Douglas, Klamath and Curry counties are among the 31 approved for phase one of Oregon’s gradual, three-phase reopening plan, with many local businesses planning to reopen their doors Friday.

Gov. Kate Brown’s announcement of phase one approvals at a Thursday press conference offered a note of hope after two months of shuttering that shattered much of the economy.

During phase one, restrictions will be eased for restaurants and bars for sit-down service; barbers, salons and massage businesses; gyms and fitness centers; and a variety of standalone retail businesses. All must follow specific guidelines.

Businesses throughout the Rogue Valley have been gearing up for the reopening — studying the guidelines, attending webinars and making preparations in-store.

The Rogue Valley Mall will reopen Friday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

“We’re super excited to finally be open,” said Jeff Barber, general manager of the mall. “It will be a little different, with everybody in masks, but we’re looking forward to serving our customers again.”

The following stores will be open, according to the mall website:

All American Ice Cream

Allwell

Baffled Escape Rooms

Beauty Nails

Classic Home Decor

Cookie Connection

Cricket

Emma Joes

Epris

Evangel

Eye Brow Plus

Fast Fix

Gabala Kebabs

Gamestop

I and I

Johnson Shoes

Journeys

Kohl’s

Laser Ops

Laser Ops Gamers Lounge

Muchas Gracias

My Little Peanut

One World

Pendleton

Provisions

Pogue Eats

Sam’s Jewelers

Shoe Dept. Encore

Sweet Satisfaction

Tish Tush

Toyland

Treasure Barn

Urban Mix

Wee Watch’em

Wetzel Pretzel

Zumiez

The food court was reconfigured to allow for proper physical spacing, and the mall is prepared to meet guidelines of signage, sanitizing and social distancing.

Manzanita Home and Flowers on the Ashland Plaza is among the businesses that will open their doors Friday.

“We’ve been offering no-contact delivery and pickup orders and did a lot of business for Mother’s Day,” said owner Lou Ann David. Staff will be wearing masks, and customers will be encouraged to do so, too. Hours, which may be expanded later, will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The Ashland YMCA will open in phases beginning Monday with expanded eligibility for emergency child care.

“The Y is already in compliance with the governor’s guidelines,” said YMCA CEO Dan Crocker. “On May 26 we’ll be adding outdoor fitness and classes, and on June 1 the Y’s fitness facilities will open.” The emphasis will be on safe spaces, healthy members, informed staff and being adaptive, he said.

La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries in Phoenix will be open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily beginning Friday. Staff will wear masks.

“Physical distancing will not be a problem in our 20,000-square-foot store,” said Allen Pfeifer, manager, “but we are prepared to limit the number of people in the store at one time based on sales staff on the floor.”

Travel Essentials in Ashland will reopen Friday, with new hours of noon to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.

“We’ll reserve the other hours for private appointment shopping,” said co-owner Nancy Bestor, “and we’ll continue to offer curbside pickup and free local delivery.”

Treehouse Books in Ashland will reopen Friday with limited hours, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. “We will be encouraging people to shop with purpose rather than browsing during this period,” said owner Jane Almquist. A plexiglass shield has been ordered for the checkout counter, and taped markings on the floor will direct traffic.

Barnes & Noble in Medford has been filling delivery and curbside pickup orders, but hasn’t made a decision yet when it will reopen for in-store shopping. “We’re waiting for company direction on that,” said Jason Green, assistant manager.

Bloomsbury Books in Ashland won’t be opening for in-store business Friday. “We just don’t have the manpower for it,” said owner Sheila Burns, “and, frankly, it feels a little early.” The bookstore will continue to offer curbside pickup of orders.

Northwest Nature Shop in Ashland will be open for inside shopping from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. beginning Friday. “We’ll be masked, and we ask customers to wear masks,” said owner Chris Uhtoff. “We’ve had an uptick in online orders, but not enough to make up for our loss of in-store sales. I feel business will rebound. Our community has so much going for it,” he said.

Garrison Furniture in Phoenix and Medford will be open for in-store shopping beginning Friday. Hours will be 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays.

“We have sold online and have helped customers with specific needs,” said owner Brian Garrison. “We’ve been getting a lot of support from the community. Our May business so far is ahead of last year.”

Plaza Salon & Spa and Hair City, salons both owned by Kevin Huggins, will reopen Monday. They used the down time to give the salons a facelift.

“We’ve been painting and sprucing up both shops,” Huggins said.

Manager Renee Norman said there will be no walk-ins, just appointments. “We’ll be open 9 to 9 at each salon, with two shifts,” she said. In that way, all cosmetologists will have a shift. Operators who provide pedicures and manicures will wear face shields, all will have PPE, and there will be sanitizing between appointments.

The Crown Jewel in Ashland will be open daily, “as schedule and life permit,” said co-owner Anne Robison. To prepare for opening, furniture and displays have been rearranged to provide more space. “We’re also looking into HEPA filtration,” she said.

Tenants at The Village at Medford Center are opening as they can, said marketing director Cory LeeAnn Shaw. “The restaurants are shooting for a tentative reopening on May 25,” she said, but some may open earlier.

Paddington Station in Ashland reopens Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Paddington’s associated stores, Jewel Box and Inspired by Oregon, also will reopen.

“We have temporarily been using Paddington Express as a web platform for live sales, in the style of QFC,” said Kelly Hammond Cooney. Stores will have floor signage for foot traffic, employees will be masked, and dressing rooms will be open. “After customers try on clothes, the dressing room will be sanitized before the next use,” she said. “Any clothes not purchased will be steamed and held 24 hours before restocking.”

Restaurants reopen

Many Rogue Valley eateries have been fulfilling takeout, delivery and curbside pickup orders during the pandemic. Most are reopening their dining rooms during phase one.

The Brickroom in Ashland will have its grand reopening Wednesday. “We got the go-ahead this morning,” Manager Blake Henry said Thursday, “but we didn’t want to rush into it.” They’ll open from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., and will close from 2 to 4 p.m. daily to sanitize between services. “Dining will be reservation only, but that doesn’t mean they have to reserve far in advance,” Henry said. “They can call from their car, and if a table is available, we’ll reserve it for them and they can come right up.”

Kaleidoscope Pizzeria & Pub in Medford will reopen for inside dining Monday with hours of 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. During the shuttering, they have been selling takeout pizza from their satellite facility. “It has been horrifically busy,” said owner Jake Allmaras. “Inside, our waitstaff will wear masks and serve as cashiers. Credit cards are appreciated but not required.”

Brothers’ Restaurant in Ashland will be open Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

“We’ve spaced our tables six feet apart and will sanitize all tables and chairs and condiment containers between parties,” said owner Dan Durant. An abbreviated, single-sheet menu will be offered and then discarded after each use. “We have installed wall-mounted sanitizers throughout the restaurant,” he added. “Customers who need to wait for a table will be asked to wait outside or in their car, and we’ll call them when their table is ready.”

The Wharf Fresh Seafood Market & Eatery opened the market portion last week and will open dine-in service Tuesday, said General Manager Richard Clements. “We’ve been doing some remodeling, even incorporating real portholes from a dismantled ship to give the dining room a new look,” he said.

Breadboard Restaurant in Ashland has been filling to-go orders and will open Friday for inside dining from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily.

“We’ve refurbished our deck and reconfigured spacing,” said owner Ivan Tagui.

Muchas Gracias Mexican restaurants, with two locations in Medford, will reopen Friday.

“We’ve been doing drive-thru orders only,” said owner Francisco Morales, “but we’re ready for inside dining now.”

Greenleaf Restaurant in Ashland is planning to reopen Friday, with hours of 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. “We’ll use the counter service model,” said co-owner Marisela Mendoza, “to accommodate less staff-patron contact. Diners will be asked to bus their tables, she said. The new owners had reopened the newly remodeled establishment just before the pandemic hit.

Customers can contact their favorite retailers and restaurants not listed here or check their websites to learn about their reopening plans.

The governor’s office says counties must be in phase one for at least three weeks before they can enter phase two.

Jim Flint is a writer living in Ashland. Reach him at jimflint.ashland@yahoo.com.

Jim Flint photoRebecca Osborne wields a paint brush to help owner Kevin Huggins give the Plaza Salon & Spa a facelift in anticipation of reopening Monday. Osborne is a hair and nails specialist at the Ashland salon.