Kentucky restaurants are finally able to open seating back up at 33 percent capacity.
And with new safety guidelines to follow, dining is going to be a different experience this summer.
Stanley Spencer, a regular at Mendy’s Kitchen in Owensboro for over twenty years, took advantage of their outside dining for the first time in months in the early morning on Friday, May 22.
“I missed it a whole bunch,” he said. “This lockdown put a halt on too much stuff.”
While the halt is finally lifting, Mendy’s Kitchen doesn’t have enough room to socially distance inside.
“They’re going to come to the window, they’re going to order their food, then they’re going to be coming back up to the window whenever their food’s ready,” said manager Hannah Fuller.
From breakfast hot spots to lunch time favorites, Janice Kennedy, owner of The Country Ham, one of the longest running restaurants in Owensboro, is worried about growing her business back with such limitations.
“We seat almost one hundred and 33 percent won’t pay the bills,” she said.
According to Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear’s Safe At Work plan for restaurants, employees must wear masks, hand sanitizer must be available and menus, tablecloths, utensils and condiments must be disposable.
While diners can only sit in groups of ten or fewer — and there’s only one way traffic for the buildings.
“We have to have an entrance and an exit,” Fuller said. “They can’t be combined.”
Even with these new safety regulations, patrons are thrilled to be back at their favorite eateries.
“It’s more like home,” Spencer said. “Good cooking and everything.”