Hellos and goodbyes: Stow, Munroe Falls businesses open and close in 2020
Stow and Munroe Falls businesses faced a challenging year, but most managed to survive and several opened in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic.
There were some closures, but the majority were not in response to the pandemic.
On Tap Grille & Bar, 4396 Kent Road in Stow, closed in 2020 after 15 years in the city. The restaurant's Cuyahoga Falls and Medina locations remain open.
Pizza Hut Express, 4200 Kent Road in Stow, closed during the pandemic, along with close to 300 other locations following its largest U.S. franchisee filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in early July.
Kirbie’s Meats & Catering, 4062 Fishcreek Road in Stow, closed in October after 23 years in the city. The store, which first opened in Cuyahoga Falls in 1982, lost half its business amid COVID-19 restrictions.
Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, 4218 Hudson Drive in Stow, closed in September.
The Yankee Candle Co., 4248 Kent Road in Stow, opened in February 2012 in the former Borders Books and Music as the chain's 611th location, but closed in July.
Mr. Tire Auto Service Centers, 3745 Darrow Road in Stow, closed this past year.
Innovative Fabrications, 858 Seasons Road in Stow, opened in 2018 in the former Wrayco Industries factory, but moved to Detroit over the summer. The specialty contract manufacturer turned out welded and painted products for construction, agriculture and industrial customers.
Macy's, 4301 Kent Road in Stow, announced on Jan. 6 that it was closing its Stow-Kent Plaza location after 55 years. The retailer closed more than 100 stores in the previous year.
Kathy's Preschool Center, 261 S. Main St. in Munroe Falls closed in June due to the pandemic. The preschool started in Cuyahoga Falls in the mid-1970s and moved to Munroe Falls in 1991. A Stow daycare, Small Steps Big Strides, purchased the building and plans to move into it.
B.A.R.F.'s Small Engine Repair, 29 Gay Road in Munroe Falls, an acronym of owners Barb and Rex Forshey, closed this year after 12 years in the city. It repaired and serviced small engine equipment, including mowers, lawn tractors and snowblowers.
Buy360Tour, 3575 Darrow Road in Stow, turns spaces into 3-D models for Realtors, universities and high schools. Co-owners Nick Wargo and Curtis Cofojohn opened in February, prior to the state's COVID-19 shutdown. "This idea came long before the pandemic, but we kind of kicked it into high gear," Wargo said. "We've actually had a great year because we're providing them with safe alternatives to in-person tours. Everyone can do it virtually from home and they don't have to go out and risk it."
Effect Change, 3869 Darrow Road Suite 106 in Stow, was a Hudson home-based home care agency that moved into its Stow location in November. Co-owner Patese Tate, a registered nurse, also offers STNA training virtually and will begin in-person training once it is safe to do so.
Eyebrow Threading R Us, 911 Graham Road in Stow, held its grand opening on March 14. The salon offers eyebrow threading, tinting, eyelash extensions, henna and facial waxing.
Flourish Yoga and Wellness, 3037 Graham Road in Stow, opened on Feb. 1. Owner Tracie Zamiska used to own Akron Yoga and Wellness in the Huntington building in downtown Akron, but had to close that location due to construction. Zamiska saw a huge influx of new clientele to the Stow studio, but then had to close six weeks to comply with state mandates. The studio reopened, but then closed again right before Christmas due to lack of staff. Zamiska plans to reopen in February.
Holman Family Chiropractic, 3823 Stow Road in Stow, signed a lease in February, but then could not open until November due to pandemic-related delays. The husband and wife team of Jeffrey and Amanda Holman, both chiropractors, had been wanting to start their own practice and found a space just few blocks from their home.
Hydraulic Manifolds USA, 4540 Boyce Parkway in Stow, moved from New Jersey to Stow in late September. Owner Nimit Patel explained that the company manufactures and distributes hydraulic components.
Paris & Company Salon, 1865 Arndale Road Suite B in Stow, opened in September. Owner Kaitlyn Paris, 22, decided to open with no other employees, which has allowed her to more easily control who is in her salon at a single time. Decreased business around the holidays has been difficult, but she said, "It's all about preparation and how you handle it." Paris hopes to hire more stylists in the new year.
Regency Nails, 3732 Darrow Road in Stow, opened its second location on Jan. 2, 2020. The salon also has a location in Aurora.
The Family Room, 4299 Kent Road in Stow, offers socially distant single family entertainment. Owner Jessica Sharp originally used the space for her business Old New & Something Blue, a retail/consignment space for pre-owned wedding decor. ONSB celebrated its one-year anniversary in April. The business applied for, but did not receive, additional funding and closed in September due to pandemic-related losses. Sharp moved inventory to a storage facility, shifted sales online and then opened The Family Room in November.
The MODE (Miracles Occur, Days Enriched), 4301 Darrow Road in Stow, is a new nonprofit that offers intensive outpatient, individual sessions, family education and support and partial hospitalization for those with substance abuse disorders. "I think people need substance abuse treatment, especially now," Executive Director Lisa Petrarca-Gamido said. "Especially now, a lot of people are struggling during the pandemic and people are more isolated, feeling more depressed, and are at risk for relapse more, so it's important right now." The MODE opened in June.
Signs 330, 118 South Main St. in Munroe Falls, began rehabilitating a run-down building in January 2020, eventually opening for in July. The pandemic did not slow down their progress, owner Bill Boyd said. The independent, locally owned and operated sign shop brought five new jobs to the city.
Alma Via Counseling Services, 36 Munroe Falls Ave. in Munroe Falls, moved from Cuyahoga Falls to Munroe Falls this past year. They provide mental health counseling for adolescents, adults, families, and couples.
Reporter Krista S. Kano can be reached at 330-541-9416, firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @KristaKanoABJ. Mark Price contributed to this report.