As Hurricane Dorian remained stagnant, and many chain businesses in Florida stayed closed, the Marina Cafe in Boynton Beach opened 15 minutes early for those needing coffee, pastries or a smile.

Juliet Gaiman may be the happiest person to ever stare into the face of a Cat 5 hurricane.

“We’re going to play poker and drink wine and have fun,” Gaiman said of plans for patrons where she works at the Marina Cafe in Boynton Beach. “It’s a hurricane party — we have to make the best of it.”

Gaiman rolled out of bed Tuesday morning at 5:45 a.m. — as Hurricane Dorian remained stagnant just over 100 miles to the northeast — to open 15 minutes early in case any of her regulars needed a hot cup of strong coffee, fresh-baked pastries or a smile.

Only about 75 yards away from the cafe located in the Boynton Beach Marina, Two George’s was submerged Monday under high tide and storm surge. But a 30-second walk away, Marina Cafe, she said, was packed.

“It was a lot of fun,” said Gaiman, glowing like she was talking about last weekend’s Rolling Stones concert. “People were hanging outside.”

In an area of town that is largely boarded up and where most every business, including the nearby Dunkin’ Donuts, chose not to brave the fickle Dorian, Marina Cafe is a light in the storm.

“We told our regulars we were going to open all through the hurricane, and if it got bad, the doors would be open for people to stay here,” she said. “We have plenty of water and everything.”

As Gaiman hustled and bustled in the kitchen preparing food for what she anticipates will be another large crowd today, the day’s first customer arrives at 8 a.m., bleary-eyed and in need of coffee and “something sweet to eat.”

“I just flew in from Israel a few hours ago,” said Pete Cohen. “I Ubered here from Miami.”

Cohen said the impending storm didn’t worry him because the flight he purchased months ago was not canceled, as he said it would have been if there was anything to fear.

“It seems like it’s going to pass us,” he said. “Nobody cares about it. We are safe.”

As Cohen gobbled down his muffin, outside the streets were empty. But still, Gaiman rushed about in the kitchen, baking scones for the impending storm of customers, if not wind and rain.

“There’s a lot of single people in the building and a lot of elderly, and where do they go?” she said, smiling, of course.

This story originally published to palmbeachpost.com, and was shared to other Florida newspapers in the GateHouse Media network via the Florida Wire. The Florida Wire, which runs across digital, print and video platforms, curates and distributes Florida-focused stories. For more Florida stories, visit here, and to support local media throughout the state of Florida, consider subscribing to your local paper.