In photos: Wilmington reopens for Memorial Day weekend, people flood shops, salons, restaurants, and beaches

Ben Jones cuts Gabby Matthews’ hair as she enjoys a Pabst Blue Ribbon in Queen Street Barbershop Saturday afternoon, the shop’s first day open in two months. (Port City Daily photo/Johanna F. Still)

WILMINGTON — For the most part, businesses that sat empty for two months were booked solid during Memorial Day Weekend in Wilmington, which came after Governor Roy Cooper allowed restaurants, hair salons, and other businesses to reopen beginning 5 p.m. on Friday evening.

Many stores opened their doors for the first time in nearly 70 days on Friday evening or Saturday morning.

VIEW THE FULL PHOTO STORY: Wilmington reopens for Memorial Day weekend

Most personal care businesses that were permitted to reopen required employees to wear masks as they worked on customers, while many restaurants implemented spatial distancing requirements — although some did not.

For many, the services they once took for granted had become a cause for celebration. Miracle Dixon attempted to do her own nails for two months, but rushed to book an appointment with her favorite nail technician at Grand Nails salon in The Pointe.

“It was horrendous,” she said. “But it kept me from having just nubs when I got here.”

Meanwhile, at Nail Tech in Pine Valley, owner Paul Nguyen joked he had been out of work so long that he had started to lose his touch.

“I forgot what I’m doing — been out for two months. I used to do it when I could sleep, but now I have to open my eyes to do it,” he said.

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Send tips and comments to Mark Darrough at or Johanna Ferebee Still at

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