LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Restaurants have sat idle for more than two months and on May 22, restaurant doors will be back open for business.
“We're just so excited for our employees, first and foremost and for the community just to provide another means of escape from everything that's going on right now."
Owners and staff like Matthew Buetow, the general manager at Agave & Rye, knows that escape will not look the same as it did prior to the pandemic.
Luckily for them, they are not just restricted to that 33% limited capacity inside because they have a brand new patio ready to use outside. The guidelines will allow for unlimited outdoor seating with proper spacing.
"It is a very large patio to say the least. It is about the same size as our restaurant is inside," he said.
Buetow says that seating will make all the difference in the world come Friday, and Mayor Greg Fischer, is on the same page.
Just a few days ago, they mayor proposed expanding outdoor seating to places like sidewalks and parking lots.
"We know that the virus does not travel outdoors like it does indoors, so this provides an opportunity for restaurants to increase their volume," Mayor Fischer said.
And just a few days later, Metro Council unanimously passed it – an effort to help businesses serve more customers.
"It's worrisome that a lot of places may or may not be able to make it out of this, but I think the mayor doing what he did is a step in the right direction," Buetow said.
With more customers comes more guidelines. The latest from the state includes keeping 6-feet apart, dining in groups limited to ten people, and only eating with others who live in the same household.
The state is also encouraging restaurants to use disposable menus, napkins utensils and tablecloths.
Along with these rules, Buetow says their restaurant will have further precautions in place of their own.
"As long as we do things to make sure that we're being safe and not take this for granted. We don't want any setbacks."
He says it's more than worth it, to get restaurants back on their feet.
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