The threat of Hurricane Dorian had nearly everyone in damage control mode, prompting closures and storm preparations ahead of and during the storm.

Restaurants and other retail shops were, of course, among those taking precautions.

But with Dorian behind them, merchants in downtown St. Augustine who had reopened on Thursday said they were eager to put it behind them.

"It just feels good to be getting back to work," said Charley Johnson, co-owner of Gimme Some Sugar, a cupcake and coffee shop on King Street.

Johnson said he and his wife, Kimberly, who also serves as the shop's baker, were getting things ready behind the scenes to prepare for regular business hours Friday. The store had been closed since Sunday.

Walking down King Street, about half of businesses appeared to be open. The other half had signs in their doors saying they'd open as soon as possible after the storm.

As Johnson removed the foam and sandbags he'd insulated his doors and windows with, he said he was glad the shop had escaped unscathed by the winds and rain.

"[Hurricane] Matthew, this place was devastated and we were concerned about that," Johnson said. "But there was no water intrusion at all."

While the parking lot Carmelo's just up the street was underwater part of Wednesday, the Butterfield Garage Art Gallery also did not flood out as it has in past storms.

"I was driving around yesterday at high tide and was amazed it [the standing water] managed to stay down the street," said Karen Victoria.

Victoria, who displays her works for sale at the cooperative gallery, was busy rehanging her handbags on the wall Thursday.

"We got lucky, thank God," said Amy Bulone, owner of St. Augies's Pizza on King Street.

Bulone said while the pizza shop was still waiting for delivery of a fresh shipment of ingredients, they decided to open with a limited menu in the meantime.

"Hopefully, we'll be fully up and running by Saturday," Bulone said.

They took a financial hit, Bulone said, in closing the restaurant over a three-day weekend.

Nicole Franques, owner of Claude's Chocolate, was busy Thursday rearranging furniture and restocking the shelves after removing everything — including the chocolate — from the shop before the hurricane.

"So the blessing this time was the power didn't go out," Franques said. "It was a nuisance to take it all out, but you never know. ..."

Columbia on St. George Street reopened for business Thursday as well.

Michael Kilgore, chief marketing officer for the Columbia Restaurant Group, said that with 13 locations across Florida, the company always took hurricanes seriously, putting the safety of employees and guests before anything else.

"And then we reopen as soon as we can — not because of profits, but because we realize some in the community don't have power to cook, or just need a place they can go to get out of the house for awhile," Kilgore said.

Kilgore also said the restaurant would be delivering platters of their famous Cuban sandwiches to employees with the St. Johns County Emergency Operations Center today.

"It's our way of saying thanks for all their hard work," Kilgore said.