The COVID-19 pandemic has dealt a difficult blow to the shops in the Pueblo Mall, but merchants are starting to see signs of improvement.

“The last year has been an incredibly difficult time for brick and mortar retail and while most businesses are rebounding, there are unfortunately those that elected to close their doors including Victoria’s Secret, Verizon and Children’s Place,” said Cara Fitzgerald of Centennial which oversees the Pueblo Mall. “On the bright side, we were happy to welcome Osaka Poke & Ramen in December and they are being well received by our shoppers.”

Osaka Poke & Ramen owner Ray Zhu agreed that opening a business during a pandemic “is kind of a risk,” but said, “it’s going pretty good. Good in December but January and February, slow,” he said.