Conn. Restaurants Make Preparations Ahead of Reopening

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Measuring at least six feet between tables, restaurant workers in West Hartford are spending the weekend preparing to reopen.

According to Gov. Ned Lamont’s phase 1 reopening plan, Connecticut restaurants will soon be able to do something they haven’t done in months: seat customers and wait on tables, at least outside.

“We’re trying to build the patio with a couple tables,” said Jorge Guerra, partner at the Harvest Wine & Bar restaurant in West Hartford.

Beginning Wednesday, outdoor seating will be allowed at Connecticut restaurants, giving them a small step toward normalcy.

“We’re just trying to service the community the best that we can. The safest way we can and to be quite frank, to keep our doors open,” said Billy Grant, owner of West Hartford’s Restaurant Bricco.

Indoor dining and bar areas will remain closed. Servers must wear personal protective equipment and sanitizers must be available at the restaurant entrance. No re-useable menus will be permitted and reservations are recommended.

“We’re not going to allow anyone to walk up and ask for a table. Reservations only,” added Grant.

Patrons we spoke with were split on the idea. Some are excited.

“It’ll be a slow start. Kind of a soft opening kind of thing, but I’m looking forward to it,” said Kevin Purviance, of West Hartford.

Others though, remain concerned.

“I think it’s cavalier, naive and ridiculous,” said Mathew Jean, of West Hartford.

Nonetheless, restaurant owners are eager to serve and are anticipating hungry customers.

“I expect the people trying to be out to feel like the same way, how we feel before this situation and enjoy the weather,” added Guerra.

As for indoor dining, restaurant owners are trying to convince Lamont to allow the use of dining rooms at 50% capacity on June 3. Lamont has responded saying it’s likely to be later than that, perhaps in phase 2 on June 20.

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