Business owners face triumphs, struggles recovering from last ye - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Business owners face triumphs, struggles recovering from last year's windstorm

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The Mane Therapie Salon and Spa just days after a violent windstorm hit July 13, 2015 The Mane Therapie Salon and Spa just days after a violent windstorm hit July 13, 2015
QUINCY, Ill. (WGEM) -

Wednesday marks an anniversary many Quincy residents won't celebrate, but one they'll never forget.

It's been one year since last July's windstorm, when 74 mile-per-hour straight-line wind toppled trees and damaged homes and businesses. Some businesses have bounced back, while others are still trying. 

The storm ripped a roof off a building adjacent to 9th and Hampshire streets, landing on top of was the spa at Mane Therapie Salon. The spa was demolished. There's now a hole in the street scape and the old spa is now in the business's main building at the corner. It's all part of a new normal a year later.

While no one was hurt, Mane Therapie's owner Kris Mason wrestled with whether her business would bounce back from so much damage.

"I did," Mason said. "Being a business owner is not my lifelong dream at all. Being able to take care of my clients is my passion. It still is and that's what keeps me going."

Mason trusted there was a future ahead.

The insurance money wasn't enough to cover demolishing the old spa or to fix the damaged main building, so she took out $100,000 in loans to pay it all off.

"I think it would take three or four years," Mason said. 

It's a sacrifice she was willing to make. Now, she has half the staff, and her spa and a newly-remodeled salon are all together in the main building at the corner of 9th and Hampshire. 

"I think this all was an act of God, to bring it down to something smaller," Mason said. "It has a totally different look to it now."

So does the upstairs apartment that was damaged when part of a wall came off and went through the window, then landed on the spa. 

"The corner edge literally came into our living room," Gus Papazaglou said. 

The son and mother who run Quincy's Greek to Me restaurant lived in the apartment for a decade. They weren't home at the time; They were at the restaurant when they learned they lost their business and home the same day.

"I mean from one minute to another, I'm wondering, 'Why me?'" Papazaglou said. "'What happened?' This was not supposed to happen."

The family moved, and nine months later, they turned the old Pizza Hut at 24th and Spruce into the new Greek to Me restaurant. It was a $120,000 ordeal, but the owner says insurance covered most of it. It opened in April.

"I'm overwhelmed in a positive way," Papazaglou said. "It was a blessing in disguise."

Papazaglou's dream was reignited. He says he's busier since his restaurant is close to a residential area. And there are no more parking issues like there were downtown. Also, the apartment they called home for many years has been remodeled and will be rented to new tenants next month.

But a year after the storm, others still wait to share stories of a new beginning. It'll take at least four months for St. Francis Church to finally get a new roof, but insurance will cover it and work has started.

And the old Quincy's Most Wanted antique shop downtown was sold after the storm caused major roof damage. A makeover continues on a new facade. The new owners hope to open a commercial business there later this summer.

"It'll be a very nice retail center and will have some diverse  offerings through the business as well," owner Terry Austin said. 

The bank that used to own it still owns the building where the old Greek to Me restaurant used to be. It's a reminder of the mark mother nature left downtown a year ago, still waiting for its own comeback story.

People are scheduled to gather Wednesday night in the spot where the spa used to be for a barbecue with live DJ. It's a way to reminisce about the storm and thank all the people who cleaned up the damage and helped the business make a comeback.

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