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Great Falls shops try to stay positive during coronavirus restrictions

Posted at 9:46 AM, Mar 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-23 14:34:57-04

Great Falls businesses Broadwater Coffee and The Next Level Salon are working hard to help their customers cope with the stress of coronavirus.

READ: Restrictions placed on all dining and many other gathering facilities in Montana

Broadwater Coffee’s drive through will be open Monday through Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and Saturday’s from 7:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Nail technicians at The Next Level Salon will continue to see their current clients as scheduled.

Broadwater Coffee owner Heather Kunz believes in the midst of chaos surrounding the virus, maintaining a normal caffeine routine can make a big difference. “Normalcy is the word I keep coming back to and part of that is coffee specifically. It's very much a part of people’s routines,” Kunz said.

Kunz debated whether or not to stay open but decided it was in the best interest of both her employees and customers to keep serving from the drive-through window instead of the front door. “As long as it’s safe for the employees and for the customers, we just decided to shift our entire model to drive through,” Kunz said.

Kunz explained how caffeine offers a unique form of comfort. “if you have a bad day, you have a cup of coffee with a friend. If you're sick, you have coffee or tea or soup to comfort you and part of what we intended to do is give people that sense of normalcy. Where there is so much chaos and so much that feels unfamiliar to us and feels just panicky, we wanted something to feel normal and something that felt comforting,” Kunz said. Broadwater Coffee is also taxing extra measures to keep their store sanitary.

The Next Level Salon has taken similar action, requiring customers to wash their hands upon entry and sanitizing all surfaces. “We spoke with the city county health department and I explained all the measures we’re taking. everybody must wash their hands before they come in. we're wiping down every surface with either a disinfectant or a disinfectant spray,” said nail technician, Melissa Weaver.

Weaver feels that getting your nails done can do as much for a customer’s hands as it can for their heart. “I’ve had people crying in my chair, I've had people stressed in my chair and it really is. It's a therapy session. It helps people de-stress in times like this,” Weaver said.

While Weaver is only taking current clients now, she plans to take more when coronavirus dangers die down.

The Next Level Salon is located at 901 13th Avenue South in Great Falls. Broadwater Coffee is located at 721 6th Street SW Suite D.


On Friday morning, Governor Steve Bullock announced measures to close dine-in food service and alcoholic beverage businesses and other activities that pose enhanced health risks, effective at 8 p.m. on Friday, March 20, 2020. The order expires at 11:59 p.m. on March 27, 2020, the same day that school closures are set to expire, though the date will likely be extended.

The order states that the following places are closed to ingress, egress, use, and occupancy by members of the public:

  • Restaurants, food courts, cafes, coffeehouses, and other similar establishments offering food or beverage for on-premises consumption.
  • Alcoholic beverage service businesses, including bars, taverns, brew pubs, breweries, microbreweries, distilleries, wineries, tasting rooms, special licensees, clubs, and other establishments offering alcoholic beverages for on-premises consumption.
  • Cigar bars.
  • Health clubs, health spas, gyms, aquatic centers, pools and hot springs, indoor facilities at ski areas, climbing gyms, fitness studios, and indoor recreational facilities.
  • Movie and performance theaters, nightclubs, concert halls, bowling alleys, bingo halls, and music halls.
  • Casinos.
  • The places subject to the order are permitted and encouraged to offer food and beverage using delivery service, window service, walk-up service, drive-through service, or drive-up service, and to use precautions in doing so to mitigate the potential transmission of COVID-19, including social distancing.