Local businesses work to stay open during the pandemic


The coronavirus pandemic has affected many organizations, local businesses being one of the most prevalent. While making sure they follow COVID-19 guidelines, many of these businesses have had to change the way they operate while still attracting customers.

The Dock Bar & Grill, located at 401 Veterans Memorial Highway, is owned by Council Bluffs natives Trisha and Lee Gillespie and Nellie and Joe Disalvo. They have been putting the health of staff and customers as priority number one during the pandemic.

At the start of the shutdown, they only provided carryout services and only managers and owners were scheduled to work.

“We all have other full-time jobs so it was very taxing,” owner Trisha Gillespie said.

With this taxing work, the community has been kind enough to help out the local businesses by taking advantage of their carry out option.

“We had a lot of people that may not have come to The Dock as a bar, but ordered take out and discovered our food is really good,” Gillespie said. “With that our food business has really picked up and we are very happy about that.”

When businesses got the “all-clear” to open back up with some restrictions, they still took into consideration the safety of others by making sure their staff always has the same shift partner to help with contact tracing.

Another well known local business to the Council Bluffs area who has changed their normal procedures is Christy Creme. The ice cream shop, currently owned by Matthew and Jordan Preston, has been around since 1954.

They’ve also taken some large COVID precautions by always wearing gloves, installing plastic barriers, and most of all closing the dining area.

There’s been a couple people that have complained about the dining room being closed,” owner Matthew Preston said. “By large it’s been well received.”

With no obvious direction on how to handle this pandemic, some business owners have had a bit of trouble deciding how to go about opening up to the public.

“I think a lot of this has been tough on everybody because there isn’t really a clear directive on what we’re supposed to be doing,” Preston said. “I feel like every business has just happened to make it up as they go along.”