WINDSOR, ONT. -- After three months of being stuck inside, residents of Windsor-Essex enjoyed a newfound freedom.

Many took advantage of the warm weather Thursday as Windsor-Essex, minus Kingsville and Leamington entered phase two of reopening.

“Surprised at how much we take it for granted until it’s gone and then you realize wow. Just the human interaction, the people watching, the smiles,” Steve Bezaire, who was part of the lunch time crowd at Jose’s, said.

“I think it’s great to be back to the places we used to love to come to and be able to support local businesses and to have some comradery with people again,” said Shelby Colarossi.

Jose’s owner Ernie Nesbitt said the staff worked quickly to get everything ready for Thursday afternoon.

“The staff have been fantastic,” he said. “They all showed up as soon as they heard yesterday just trying to help and you know what, if it wasn’t for them we wouldn’t be open right now.”

The Bourbon Tap and Grill on Ottawa Street didn’t waste any time opening their doors at 12:01 a.m.

Toast Restaurant on Erie Street opened up for breakfast at 9 a.m.

“The energy is great,” said Toast owner May Hermiz. “Everybody is loving being outdoors as well. It’s definitely

“Excitement and freedom,” said diner Jeannie Heynsbroek. “It’s good to be out. It’s good to see people again.”

And it’s good to get pampered again. Refresh Day Spa was able to half open Thursday.

“It’s been pretty busy,” said Stefanie Gauthier, receptionist at the spa. “Lots of phone calls this morning. The phone’s been ringing off the hook. Emails. That’s to be expected but we’re happy our clients wanna come back.”

There is no shortage of people needing to clean up their mop. The City Barbershop in South Windsor was also busy.

“We made the official announcement at 7 o'clock last night and within two hours we were fully booked for the whole weekend,” said owner Ahmed El-Sayed.

“It’s been 75 days since I got a haircut and now I’m happy that I’m back getting a haircut with Ahmed,” said Eli Gharib. “Looks like he's following all the guidelines. I feel safe in here. I'm happy with the way he opened the store.”

Many businesses were surprised by the quick turn around and needed the day to prepare.

“It feels good,” said Luigi Mariani of Goccia Café. “Even though we're closed we still have bills to pay and it does feel good in that way.”

One thing that is not open yet is city services.

The City of Windsor says it needs 10 days to get pools, splash pads, and playgrounds open to the public, details should be released early next week.