The article has been updated.
Typical of his weekday routine, John Drobac stood at Deerfield Coffeehouse’s counter about 8:30 a.m. Monday, March 16, waiting to pay for his java and donuts.
The downtown Deerfield coffeeshop’s normal bustle was absent though; Drobac was one of only two customers.
In front him on the counter, as well as posted at both of the entrances, were signs that said beginning Tuesday, March 17, orders would be taken online for pick-up only. In-house seating, the signs said, would be temporarily suspended.
Coffeehouse owner Teresa Pelletier said she was responding to a Dane County order Sunday that she reduce her seating capacity by 50 percent, in response to coronavirus concerns. Pelletier said she decided to voluntarily go a step beyond that, closing the doors for other than pickup orders and limiting her hours.
“To keep my staff safe and the community safe... we really need to shut it down as much as possible. It’s better if we’re not interacting with a lot of people,” Pelletier said.
Her decision followed a string of orders in other states, including in Illinois, that restaurants close to dine-in customers, with pick-up and drive-up only allowed.
But in the Dane County area on Monday afternoon, the only order remained to limit seating. Nevertheless, many eateries had announced new pick-up only rules similar to Deerfield Coffeehouse’s.
Drobac said he would “make the best of tomorrow,” and said he expects to continue ordering his daily coffee and donuts for pickup.
Pelletier characterized Monday as a “period of transition... definitely new eyes and looking at things differently,” with a noticeable uptick in pickup orders.
She said it followed a weekend that “was still active, a lot of questions about if we’re staying open or not.”
“So people still want their coffee, they still want their food, which is great,” Pelletier said. Now, she said, her questions include, “How do we still serve the community and stay safe? How do we communicate those changes?”
A similar scene was playing out on Monday in downtown Cambridge, as Cathy Yerges, who opened Cambridge Market Café in June 2019, navigated the new coronavirus reality.
“So the weekend was actually a good weekend for us, we saw an uptick in business,” Yerges said. “A lot of people seemed to be out, they were looking for community.”
Then began a transition to more sales of gift cards, that can be redeemed into the future, Yerges said.
In a social media post Sunday, Yerges announced measures that included scaling back the café’s hours and moving cream and sugar “out of customer access.”
“We will now add them to your coffee for you,” the post said.
Though its indoor seating remained open Monday, Cambridge Market Café also announced on Sunday the start of online orders with curbside pickup.
“This morning we had a number of people take advantage of the curbside pickup,” Yerges said.
The cafe on Sunday also announced the availability of work and study space on its second floor with free wi-fi and spaced-out seating “that meets the definition of social distancing.”
And, working with the Cambridge Area Resource Team and local ministries, the cafe said it has added an option on its website to buy food and beverages for others facing food insecurity, in the form of gift cards.
“If I can be a conduit to that, if can help get things to people in need, I am going to do that,” Yerges said. “We have to pull together.”
Yerges acknowledged there’s a strong chance that she might be ordered in coming days to cease all operation.
“I think this is just the tip,” she said. “I do anticipate getting an order to close completely.”
For now, she said, “I can’t let fear stop what I am meant to do.”
Pelletier, who opened Deerfield Coffeehouse about a year ago, said not seeing regular customers in the shop, other than picking up food and drink, is going to be hard.
“We’re going to miss everyone. We’re going to miss our regulars, we’re going to miss the families on the weekends,” she said.
“The silver lining of this is realizing how many connections and relationships we have developed over the past year, how much the community has become such an important place in our lives.”
“We’re still going to be here for them in whatever way we can,” she pledged.
As of Saturday March 21, many businesses in Cambridge and Deerfield were closed, some voluntarily. Some, like hair salons, have shut their doors due to coronavirus-related public health orders. Many others remain open, however.
Below is a list, not necessarily complete, of businesses that remain operating in the Cambridge and Deerfield areas as of Saturday March 21. Many have reduced their hours, so call ahead. Some are operating online only.
The Cambridge News and Deerfield Independent office in Lake Mills is closed to the public but its staff will remain in operation, as a business declared “essential” by Governor Tony Evers. (608) 423-3213.
To be added to this list email Cambridge News & Deerfield Independent managing editor Karyn Saemann at: email@example.com. This list will be updated on an ongoing basis, when new information becomes available.
•Keystone Grill has closed for dine-in service but it still offering carryout and curbside pickup, with limited hours. 206 W. Main St., Cambridge. (608) 423-3730.
• The Victorian of Cambridge bed and breakfast is “open for business,” with “plenty of social distance for guests.” 109 E. Main St. (847) 269-6515.
• The Sports Page Bar and Grill is open for carryout. W9535 U.S. Highway 12, Cambridge. (608) 423-71111.
• Rowe Pottery Works remains open, including its retail area. “Our business is small, our employees have very defined work spaces that are naturally separated and we have less than 10 people at any given time in our studio spaces," a release said. 110 E. Main St., Cambridge. (608) 423-3363.
• CC Sandwiches is open for carryout and curbside pickup, with no dine-in seating. It has reduced its business hours. It is now delivering within a 3-mile radius, for minimum orders of $10. 111 Jefferson St., Cambridge. (423-2244)
• Anew Vintage Dream is closed for normal retail hours. It is offering private shopping appointments, curbside pickup, shipping, virtual workshops to go, and take-n-make project kits. 1 Mill St., Cambridge. (608) 423-2253.
• The Cambridge Winery has limited its hours but is open for carryout food and wine, including carryout for its Friday Fish Fry nights. 700 Kenseth Way, Cambridge. (608) 423-02348.
• Avid Gardener garden center, gift shop and speciality wine and food shop is open. Please call ahead or message before coming by. 136 W. Main St. (608) 423-3991.
• Details Boutique has closed its door but has made online ordering available. 214 W. Main St. www.detailsgetnoticed.com
• Cambridge Market Café is open for carryout, curbside pickup and delivery, with ordering available through its Cambridge Market Café mobile app. Delivery is available in Cambridge, London, Rockdale, Applegate and Oakland Estates with a $20 minimum order. 217 W. Main St., Cambridge. (608) 423-2182.
• Marc’s Garage in Cambridge is open. In a social media post, it said “if you need or want to stay home, give us a call. We can pick up and drop off your vehicle for you. We have after hours drop off and free loaner vehicles as well.” 206 Commerce Ave, Cambridge. (608) 423-7101.
• The Cambridge Piggly Wiggly is open and is offering delivery service. 100 Jefferson St., Cambridge. (608) 423-4004.
• Rockdale Bar N Grill is open for carryout and delivery. "We are now offering homemade pizzas daily as well as any items off the menu," it said in a social media post. 222 Water St., Rockdale. (608) 423-3323.
• Cambridge Pizza Pit is open for carryout and delivery. 275 W. Main St. (608) 423-3600.
• Cambridge Cooler liquor store is open. 109 Jefferson St., Cambridge. (608) 423-2244.
• Cambridge Shell gas station is open. 424 W. Main St., Cambridge. (608) 423-3500.
• BP gas station is open. 281 W. Main St., Cambridge. (608) 423-3246.
The Bank of Deerfield has closed its lobbies. Going forward, “everything will be by appointment or drive through.” 15 S. Main St. and 867 Shaul Lane, Deerfield. (608) 764-5411.
• Nora's Tavern is open and is offering carryout service. 1843 U.S. Highway 12-18, Deerfield. (608) 764-5746.
• Flannel Frontier bar and grill is open for curbside lunch and dinner pickup. 15 N. Main St. (608) 764-8353.
• The Pickle Tree restaurant is open for carryout. 625 S. Main St., Deerfield. (608) 764-8060.
• Brown Heating & Cooling is open for business as usual. 633 S. Main St., Deerfield. (608) 764-8649.
• Deerfield Tire and Auto remains in operation. 120 N. Main St., Deerfield. (608) 764-3337.
• Deerfield Coffeehouse is open for carryout with online and mobile app ordering. Indoor seating is closed. 50 N. Main St., Deerfield. (608) 764-3118.
• Quilted Oak & Ice Cream in Deerfield is open. It is offering carryout and curbside pickup with no indoor seating. 23 N. Main St., Deerfield. (608) 764-3200.
• Mobil on Main remains open. 216 S. Main St., Deerfield. (608) 764-5992.
• BP gas station remains open. 109 N. Main St., Deeerfield. (608) 764-5051.
• American Family Insurance Agent Sherry Lange has closed her office to the public. Agents are still available via phone and email. 21 N. Main St., Deerfield (608) 764-8339.
• Truckstar Collision Center is operating “business as usual.” 38 W. Nelson St., Deerfield (608) 496-1914.