Cigar aficionado and financial adviser Barry Waronker of Chestnut Hill relaxes in front of BnB Cigars, which is now closed but still selling online. (Photo by Stacia Friedman)

By Stacia Friedman

On March 23, Governor Wolf ordered all non-essential businesses to close or face potential legal consequences. Chestnut Hill has complied with that order, and many shops temporarily closed their doors, while others found creative ways to work around the ordinance.

“Our store is closed,” said Vince Hillanbrand, who runs the 14-year-old business, BnB Cigars, at 7920 Germantown Ave., which has a lounge and outdoor terrace.

“But we are a worldwide, online business and have been for years.” Computer literate customers have no problem ordering online, but the retail closure has presented a challenge for some of his older customers.

“They can just call their orders in,” she said.

While the camaraderie of the shop’s intimate smoking lounge is temporarily unavailable, cigar lovers can still get their favorite stogies at Meanwhile, the Pipe Rack and Cigar Shop at 8435 Germantown Ave. is closed.

If sheltering-in-place is putting stress on your relationship, psychotherapist Linda Hobbs at As One Counseling and Wellness, 8419 Germantown Ave., offers videoconferencing sessions. Hobbs is also a yoga and meditation instructor who incorporates these techniques into her couples’ therapy practice.  Her practice phone number is 215-532-1548. Stress, depression, anxiety? Sharon Sherman at Empirical Point Acupuncture has temporarily closed her doors but is providing herbal and Chinese medicine prescriptions via a telemedicine portal at

The Market at the Fareway, 8221 Germantown Ave., remains open but only for curbside pickup and takeout. Doors will be propped open during business hours, so you will not need to touch handles. Most vendors prefer to take orders and payment online or by phone. (Note: Chestnut Hill Brewing Company is not accepting cash in order to avoid unnecessary contact.) Those offering curbside pickup include: Chestnut Hill Brewing Company, Barry’s Buns, Niedermyer’s Poultry and Rice’s Meats. Ranck’s Lunchmeats is taking phone orders at 215-247-5557. Made By Me, purveyors of handmade chocolates, is taking orders for Easter and Passover at Streetside BBQ and Tokyo Sushi are closed.

Captain Andy’s at 901 E. Willow Grove Ave. in Wyndmoor is offering curbside service of their seafood, prime meats and fresh produce. Customers can still enter the store but only six at a time to maintain social distancing. The market now offers home delivery for senior citizens. Call the market at 215-233-2975

Schmitter lovers will have to concoct their own burgers at home while McNally’s is shuttered. Same goes for Tavern on the Hill and the Mermaid Inn. For the time being, Cin Cin remains open for takeout but not for long. Unable to receive their usual deliveries, they will only continue to offer takeout as long as their current food supply lasts. If you crave hot and sour soup, get that order in fast.

[See our list of area restaurants operating during the shutdown. Be sure to call for specific services and hours]

Sadly, Morris Arboretum, which is just coming into its springtime glory, is closed, as is Robertson’s Florists at a time when local hostesses would normally be ordering floral centerpieces for the holidays.

Staples remains open. Apparently, there is something essential about printer cartridges, copy services and number two pencils. To say nothing of crayons, multi-colored markers and drawing tablets for your little Picasso. If your taste in art is more sophisticated, Andrew Domanski, owner of the Little Gallery at 8617 Germantown Ave., is posting artwork for sale at

Now Hiring

Need extra income while waiting for Congress to send you a check? Area supermarket chains are scaling up to meet the demand. Acme in Chestnut Hill, Mt Airy and Flourtown are hiring, starting at $17 per hour. New jobs are also available at Fresh Market in Chestnut Hill and Giant in Flourtown.

Stacia Friedman, of Mt. Airy, is a novelist and freelance contributor to several websites and area publications.