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Businesses at The Docks seeing influx of visitors with warmer weather, lifting of health orders

Some businesses, like Hamburger Mary's, say they've seen more customers now than before the COVID-19 pandemic began.

TOLEDO, Ohio — A combination of nice weather and no more mandates is bringing the masses to The Docks in downtown Toledo. 

People are flocking to the area, giving the businesses there a chance to thrive. 

"We don't have to wear a mask, so that's definitely a lot nicer," said Gia Delgado, who was visiting Hamburger Mary's at The Docks on Friday. 

"Yup, I think definitely with the vaccine being out and available to everybody, it kinda helps alleviate any nerves or limitations that we may have of coming out," added Gia's cousin, Alexa Polsdorfer. 

No more orders or mandates is giving families the chance to feel more comfortable. 

"We love it. Honestly, I think with everything being withheld from what you've had for so long, it's good to open up. Get out there and you can't be scared to take a chance. No mask needed, we're happy," said Josh Segura, who was out eating with his family at El Vaquero Mexican Restaurant at The Docks. 

Restaurants in the area have also noticed the influx of visitors. 

Hamburger Mary's even has more customers than before COVID-19. 

"It's anywhere from 20-to-25 percent up from last year before the pandemic. Since the pandemic, it's probably at least 3-to-400 percent since our darkest days were probably November, December of last year," said Steve Ricker, co-owner at Hamburger Mary's. 

Both Hamburger Mary's and El Vaquero are still offering outdoor seating for those who feel more comfortable sitting outdoors. 

"I think the weather and the order lifting too is helping us a lot. Downtown kinda getting everybody ready to come out, and the concerts for ProMedica and all that stuff going on, too," said Luis Melenez, part-owner at El Vaquero.

It's keeping businesses happy to see people return after a difficult year. 

"For the community, I just hope it makes people in the community feel safe again to go out you know. Start participating. Doing social things they haven't been able to do in over a year," said Ricker. 

"We here for everybody to come and see us. And we're happy to see everybody. Toledo is here," added Melenez as he motioned to his heart. 

For fathers like Josh Segura, it means freedom for his children. 

"I don't want them to live in a box. I want them to have an open world and not have to live a straight line. I believe in the sky is the limit," said Segura. 

Places like Hamburger Mary's and Kobe Bay Toledo are hosting more events throughout the weekend and summer to welcome people back to The Docks.

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