For some area businesses, sub-zero temperatures have equated to sales and foot traffic heating up.
Just a few months ago, standing next to the pizza oven at Bada Bing Pizzeria was a sweltering job, bringing the temperature in the dining room to 110-degrees. This week, no one minds.
“Now that it’s winter and it’s below zero, it’s actually pretty nice inside,” said owner Jason Hague. “We use a deck pizza oven here and we have it set at about 650-degrees, so it keeps the kitchen really nice and warm.”
Hague considered closing his Harding Road shop Monday due to the cold temperatures, but decided to stay open after scanning Facebook and learned many other restaurants were closing. The move proved to be right on the money, he said, since about 50 customers came in— high for a Monday.
“You came in in the early afternoon and the dining room was just packed,” he said. “So it was good that we were open, or we would have missed that business.”
Kathi Malinas and several of her girlfriends had lunch at Bada Bing on Tuesday, taking advantage of time off work to enjoy a slice.
“It’s been several months, but I did remember there being a lot of heat coming in from the sun,” she said. “It feels pretty good here today.”
The heat being emitted from the pizza oven helped keep the restaurant toasty in the 70s. Hague said he thinks the winter weather has boosted customer sales because people crave something tasty and warm.
“I think everyone is getting tired of eating all the eggs and bread they purchased a few days ago,” he said.
The Springfield YMCA has seen a spike in patrons using their facility, but some of that is from the typical New Year’s resolution bump to get healthy. CEO Paul Weber said he’s seen more members coming in to beat “cabin fever” and do something inside where it’s warm, but the weather has deterred some adults from wanting to make the drive. Where they’ve seen the biggest bump is in youth activities.
“With kids, they have no place else to go. They want to play basketball, and they want to swim,” Weber said. “We’re definitely seeing that activity level increase.”
As temperatures rise above freezing later this week, Weber said he expects more new and current members to use the facility.
The cold temperatures meant the warming center at the Salvation Army stayed open another night. The shelter, which is located at the Salvation Army at 15 South Plum Street, was set to close Tuesday but extended its hours through noon Wednesday.
Set up by the city of Springfield, Salvation Army, Red Cross, Clark County Combined Health Department and the Clark County Emergency Management Agency to help people who may not have a place to go as temperatures dipped below zero, the center has provided medical assistance, meals, shelter and clothing to about 20 adults since Sunday, organizers said.