The only time I’m hesitant is when it’s when the store front looks more like a converted residence then an actual store. When you get the feeling the owner might live upstairs and probably doesn’t get a lot of customers. Sometimes in these cases I almost feel like I should knock first.
Here’s a place that I pass near my house. If I wanted to go in there, I might feel like I had to knock or call first. Especially if the front door (the storm door, not the screen door) was closed.
Similarly, if you’ve ever seen those blue on white bumper stickers that say “I Closed Wolski’s” there from here. Not the most inviting place from the outside. If you head there during the day when the place isn’t hopping. You might not be sure if it’s even open. Do you just walk in? It’s basically just a regular front door like you’d find on a house (except there’s no knob and it opens out, but it looks normal as you approach it). It’s Wednesday at 2 in the afternoon, no one is going in or out, it looks dark inside, you can see someone wiping down the bar, but you can’t see any patrons from where you stand…what do you do? Walk in and see if they’re open, pull on the door and see if it’s locked, wait and see if someone else goes in first or comes out to smoke, go in and risk being told to leave because they’re not open until 6?