ST. LOUIS — Apotheosis Comics & Lounge is now requiring proof of vaccination if you want to eat or drink in store. Owner Martin Casas said maneuvering financially through the pandemic was difficult.
"Every day we have to think of a new trick to keep the lights on, keep employees paid,” Casas said.
He was nervous to require proof of vaccination last week but seeing customers feedback gave him encouragement.
"We made the decision to require everyone to wear a mask and show us a vaccination card and our sales didn't suffer,” Casas said. “In fact, we had our second-best weekend of sales for the year. The day after we made our announcement that we would require vaccination cards, we saw more families in the store. We had an outpouring of support online. People know this is the right way to bring our economy back, bring small businesses back."
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Casas said enforcing strict policies keeps customers and staff safe. It also allows small businesses like his to operate more freely. He’d like to see more businesses checking for proof of vaccination.
"We are evaluating these coronavirus changes day by day,” St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones said. “We meet with the Pandemic Task force. They are the professionals here and we are going to lean on their advice."
A spokesperson for St. Louis County said they have no plans for a proof of vaccination guidelines at this time.
Casas said most of the feedback has been positive but there have been a few people pushing back.
"The people who say that we are infringing on their rights to come into my shop, I would say they are infringing on everyone's right to be healthy,” Casas said. “Everyone's rights to live the life they want because they did the responsible thing and got vaccinated and wear a mask."