For those who live in or around Saxapahaw, that’s a phrase that could be said any year. Saxapahaw is full of outdoor activities, and it’s why people come from all over the state to this tiny hamlet off the beaten path all year round, but especially when the weather makes it ideal for hiking, kayaking or just a walk in the country. But after a year of restrictions, after a year of so many people cooped up inside, every day that we’ve seen warmth and sunshine over the past week, we’ve seen crowds in Saxapahaw increase little by little, and it’s only going to increase. When you visit Saxapahaw, please make sure that you stay safe and healthy. Even as more and more people are getting vaccinated for covid-19, completely slacking off now could lead to another spike in numbers and more people getting sick.
When you visit the General Store, we still require face masks in the store for all employees and customers, and when possible, maintaining six feet of distance from other customers. Sometimes this isn’t possible, making it all the more important for masks. We also offer several stations for hand sanitizer, and our staff will continue to clean frequently used surfaces as much as possible throughout, at the beginning and end of each day.
Even when you’re not inside our store or Freehand Market, The Eddy Pub or Left Bank Butchery, it’s important to still wear masks and maintain safe social distancing around others. Studies have shown that outdoor transmission is less likely than indoor transmission, it is still possible. When you’re not eating, when you’re walking through the Saxapahaw upper mill area, or even along the river trails, keep a safe distance from other households or groups, and keep a mask on hand, because you might make new friends hiking up the Saxapahaw Island Park, and you don’t want to get anyone accidentally sick.
This slow increase in spring and summer business in Saxapahaw also means that you might want to plan for a longer wait time for food, especially over the weekend. If you’re coming at a peak time, we’ll be happy to take your phone number to call you when your food is ready if you want to order, then go for a short hike and come back. During peak weekend hours, it’s possible that wait times may get up to 45 minutes or more despite our best efforts. There’s only so many people who can fit in the kitchen at one time, and it can get very busy Friday night, as well as Saturday and Sunday. Please plan accordingly, or try to come by during the week if possible when there are fewer crowds. Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays often offer a more relaxed atmosphere at the General Store, and in Saxapahaw as a whole.
But if you just want to visit Saxapahaw on a sunny weekend (and who doesn’t to be honest?) feel free to grab a beverage, and maybe make some new friends out on our patio. We’ve got one of the largest selections of cold craft beers in the county, so if you drink, there’s probably something you’ll really enjoy at the store, and then take a bottle or six pack home with you.
Just please make sure to be safe, wear a mask, and social distance when possible. We’re not out of the woods yet, and we want visiting Saxapahaw to be a positive experience for everyone.