KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The latest mask mandate in Kansas City, Missouri, takes effect first thing Monday morning, leaving local businesses to prepare accordingly.
"This is a serious issue that's happening and I will do whatever is necessary to help anyone," Kelsey Kallenberger, general manager of Tom’s Town Distillery said.
The businesses, which is a mainstay along the streetcar line at 17th and Main, is bracing for a new week, with new health and safety requirements.
"I’ll be very interested to see how this goes back in to place, because we have been kind of just doing business as usual pre-pandemic for quite a while now," Kallenberger said.
Kallenberger also said her bartenders, waiting staff and hosts are ready to keep working.
"Our entire staff is vaccinated," she said. "So I've never been nervous about it really and we have not, you know, knock on wood, had really ever been anyone with COVID around here so that's what really kind of keeps me sleeping at night."
A few blocks south in the Crossroads at PT’s Coffee, there are some nerves.
"Well there’s definite concern, some employees are concerned that we’re gonna end up getting sick, but we’re taking precautions just like everybody else," café manager Melody Westermann said.
Westermann knows firsthand about the toll of the pandemic as she’s lost multiple family members to COVID-19. She continues to lead her team with a steady hand.
"(I) Give my employees a measure of confidence and calm, to keep them even keeled, you know, I think during these times the anxiety can ramp up and really affect us in negative ways," Westermann said. "So I just try to, you know, (say) we're all going to be okay everybody. We're in this together."
These and other Kansas City businesses have learned how to adjust. They’ve navigated these waters before, and they say they will again.
"I would rather take a financial hit and keep everyone safe, and have them enjoy their wedding or their beautiful moment when they can be maskless and a little more worry free and go have a dance floor, and, you know, not worry about giving their great aunt Eliza, COVID," Kallenberger said. "That sounds terrible and I don't want to be the instigator of that."
Whether you’re having a cup of coffee in the morning or a cocktail at night or going to any other indoor business in KCMO, the masks go back on beginning Monday.