KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) – On Day 1 of the “stay-at-home” shutdown in place for the entire Kansas City metro, only essential businesses were open and employees who were performing essential activities were out-and-about.
The area at 119th and Blue Valley Parkway in Overland Park was nearly a ghost town, and the parking lot at a nearby QuikTrip had only a few cars in it compared to the mad house it normally is.
At Town Center in Leawood, the only thing normal was the mall music still playing. Mall walkers were still out but the parking lot is totally empty compared to normal.
Jerry and Lauren Miller said they watched the shopping center being built a couple years ago and told KCTV5 News Tuesday they were sad to see it so empty.
“There’s always cars, and there’s always people walking around, and a lot of young people, which is great to see out, so this is really sad,” Lauren Miller said.
Across the state line, the County Club Plaza was nearly empty. Many businesses had signs on their doors saying the shops were closed, while others promoted “takeout only” operations.
The streets in downtown Kansas City were also fairly deserted, with hardly any midday traffic. Going farther north, the City Market area was also cleared out as shoppers stayed home.
Down in Brookside, Michael Forbes Bar and Grille is shutting down for 30 days, but before closing the doors for a month, owner Forbes Cross decided to do some good for the community.
Like other metro restaurants, the business faced the choice of implementing take-out or delivery options or shut down to stay compliant with the new regulations.
Cross explained tried to offer carry out-only at his restaurant but said it wasn’t worth it for him.
“If you’re a pizza place, fast food burger, you’re going to kill it. Barbecues are going to do great,” he said. “But if you’re just a normal restaurant without a drive thru and just carryout, it’s not that big yet.”
So Cross was giving away 500 chicken dinners to anyone who stopped by so the food doesn’t go to waste.
“We’re just trying to help people out and give it away for free,” he told KCTV5 News.
On Day 1 of KC’s shutdown @MichaelForbesKC is giving out 500 chicken dinners to people in the community. He shutdown his takeout biz because it was slow. Giving away food so it doesn’t go bad. More on this act of kindness at 5pm on @KCTV5 pic.twitter.com/aPURAce6Zq— Kelli Taylor (@kellikctv5) March 24, 2020
Cross believes he’ll be able to reopen but knows not every restaurant will be as lucky.
“It’s kind of a scary thing when you have millions and millions of people out of work and restaurants closing down,” he said. “I’m not sure how the government is going to help everybody. I don’t know.”
Waldo resident Zac Craig picked up one of the chicken dinners. Craig said he and his family will remember what cross is doing for his community during this time and hopes others remember this act of kindness, too.
“Just trying to make things happen and get through and keep everybody safe and just roll with it, you’ve just got to roll with the punches I guess.”