As Fisher's Popcorn manager Douglas Hooker nailed boards to the windows Thursday evening, he watched lines of customers stretching outside the shop. It turned into one of the busiest nights of the entire summer, he said.
"We were really, really busy," Hooker said. "People were getting ready to leave, and I don't know if people didn't think we'd be here after the storm or what. We had four or five lines across the boardwalk the entire night."
Fisher's, which like other boardwalk businesses was spared significant damage, reopened at 1 p.m. Sunday, and "we already had people waiting in line," Hooker said.
"I would say we held our own as far as the days we lost. The weather reports were very grim, but it ended up being not that bad at all."
Market House at City Dock in Annapolis closed over the weekend after all the vendors moved their heavy equipment and inventory out in trucks Saturday in anticipation of high storm surges.
"This would have been the best two days since we opened in July," said Richard Sharoff, whose company manages the market. He said the weekend typically represents 40 percent of weekly revenues.
Supermarkets reported brisk sales Friday and Saturday as residents stocked up on bread, water and flashlights.
Giant Food relied on backup generators to keep stores open in areas with power outages, spokesman Jamie Miller said.
"We got hit very, very hard on Friday, but were able to replenish pretty well on Saturday," Miller said. "Bottled water went very quickly, and batteries, and most of the staple items like bread. But for the most part, we got the trucks out early on Saturday and did a good job of replenishing stores."
While power outages and damage left some businesses closed over the weekend, other restaurants and retailers reported larger-than-usual crowds Sunday.
Towson Town Center and White Marsh Mall saw strong foot traffic, and restaurants such as the Cheesecake Factory and P.F. Chang's reported increased sales compared with a typical Sunday, said Annie Wildasin, senior marketing manager for the shopping centers. Both malls closed an hour or so early on Saturday.
Jerry Mazurowski, general manager at the Greene Turtle restaurant in Hunt Valley, said it racked up double its normal sales on Sunday, making up for a slow Saturday. The restaurant, which did not lose power, remained opened for normal weekend hours.
Mazurowski expected increased sales and crowds Monday, given that surrounding neighborhoods were still out of power and schools in the region did not open.
"Being that people don't have the ability to eat at home, we expect them to be here," Mazurowski said. "Hopefully, a strong Monday will start the week strong."
Officials at the state fair, too, hope the traffic picks up as the week progresses.
A challenge remains: Work continues on damage to the light rail line. Until it is repaired, passengers are being ferried on buses from North Avenue to Hunt Valley.
With forecasts calling for pleasant weather, Miller remained optimistic.
"Maybe the people who didn't come this past Sunday will come next Sunday," he said.
Baltimore Sun reporters Eileen Ambrose and Jamie Smith Hopkins contributed to this article.