Adjustments of Cheney local businesses


The Mason Jar offers a variety of authentic coffee beverages, such as lattes and classic drips, along with “unusual” drinks such as con panna.

By Emily Driskel, Reporter

In past years, move-in weekend for EWU has allowed new students to check out the town of Cheney, wandering through the local restaurants and the campus mall. Returning students have been able to meet up with old friends and catch up after summer break.

This year, EWU has switched to online classes, which has caused many changes for Cheney. With not as many students coming back to EWU, there have been differences this year with the local businesses.

Sabrina Anderson, manager of Bene’s, said that business has been slower this year.

“Given all the circumstances, [move-in weekend] was one of the busiest weekends that we’ve had since we have reopened with COVID-19 and all the regulations,” said Anderson. “Ever since then, we’ve been seeing an increase in people coming.” 

Anderson said Bene’s has opened the patio and added mimosas to the menu. 

“The only people that are coming in now are mainly kids who are in sports,” said Anderson. “And before, it was kids with their families, kids with their friends or roommates …” 

“Given all the circumstances, [move-in weekend] was one of the busiest weekends that we’ve had since we have reopened with COVID-19 and all the regulations,”-Sabrina Anderson, Manager of Bene’s

Anderson said they are trying to be as fresh as they can while being sanitary and following guidelines.

Mike Lyon, the owner of Barrelhouse Pub & Pizza, said during EWU’s move-in weekend, their numbers have been down compared to past years.

“Usually those days are way bigger than they were, so it’s definitely down, but it definitely helps to have some students,” said Lyon. “We have [Eagle] Flex too so that helps on another avenue.”

During the three-day stretch, Lyon said that the restaurant saw a 50% increase in business. 

Lyon hopes that it will be good for business to have students due to the start of school.

“More people on campus, educators back on campus too, these are a lot of our customers,” said Lyon. 

Barrelhouse Pub & Pizza has daily drink specials. The location opened last year in January | Mckenzie Ford for The Easterner

Douglas LaBar, the owner of the Mason Jar, said there also has been a lot less people in Cheney this year.

“Luckily, we’ve seen some [students] but it definitely has been a dramatic difference from the vibe of usual downtown,” LaBar said.

LaBar said there is a lot of in and out traffic as well as students sitting inside the restaurant to study.  

“As the weather gets colder and we lose our outside patio and we are really just dependent on people staying inside, I think that is a little bit more nerve wracking because we are already slower,” LaBar said. “We [will] have less places to sit.”

LaBar said the turnover for lunches might not be as capable in the coming months.

“It might work its way out and naturally flow fine,” said LaBar. “It also might be one of those things where people walk in, there’s not enough seats for them to sit down, so they might just have to leave or maybe get lunch with us.”

LaBar said the restaurant still takes Eagle Flex and hopes the students still come down to support all other local businesses as well as  the Mason Jar.