COLLEGE STATION, TEXAS — This weekend in particular was a unique one. It was the first time in a quite a while that masks and capacity restrictions weren't mandated by the state.
Blake Bodin says seeing a lot more Aggie grads and their families pick up gear and memorabilia on the weekend make-up graduations were held was special.
"We did see some families in here this weekend. They were getting graduation gifts, diploma frames, former student t-shirts, everything of the sorts that those graduates didn't really get when they graduated in May, they are celebrating now which was nice to see," Blake Bodin, Assistant Director of Retail for Aggieland Outfitters, George Bush Drive location said.
Optimism is a common theme for the Aggie apparel and gift shop. They're looking towards what's next here in College Station as the state lifts restrictions and mandates.
"We are really hoping for a great football season, we are optimistic to see what the future holds, optimistic for a great semester, I know I am going to graduate in May, so I am really optimistic to have my graduation on time and see where things go...same with us here at Aggieland Outfitters," Bodin added.
Aggieland Outfitters has decided wearing a mask is up to you, except for staff.
"Aggieland outfitters has decided that if a customer wants to wear a mask, you are more than welcome to, if you choose not to wear a mask, that is also your choice, but we have decided as a company all staff will still be required to wear masks, just to make our customers feel more comfortable," Bodin added.
Also giving patrons the option to mask up or not, but requiring staff to continue to wear one, is Urban Table in south College Station. Brant Jensen with the American fusion restaurant says it's been a ride.
"We actually shut down...down to just to-go orders for a little bit and once we re-opened it was pretty slow going really up until the past couple weeks we have seen our business somewhat get back to normal since before covid, but it's been a long road," Brant Jensen, General Manager at Urban Table said.
Jensen says by far, this weekend was the best they have had in the past year. He says while he is seeing people ready to come out, he's also noticed some are still hesitant and Urban Table can accommodate those folks too.
"We've seen an increase in people ready to come out and a few that are still a little cautious so that is where our patio seating really comes into effect because we are able to still offer people a socially distanced dining experience outside," Jensen added.
Jensen says he's seen a mix of people wanting to continue to wear their covering while others were ready to shed the extra layer.