new years celebrations

Restaurants Take Precautions to Safely Celebrate the New Year Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

NBC Universal, Inc.

We're hours away from the new year and usually during this time of year, restaurants are gearing up for one of their busiest nights, but things are a lot different this year as they navigate coronavirus restrictions. But that's not stopping restaurants from trying to help people ring in the new year safely.

Like many things in 2020, New Year's Eve is looking a little different for a lot of us and for the restaurant industry, that's no exception.

Typically for restaurants, this day is filled with multiple course meals and packed party-like atmospheres. A lot of that is taking a backseat to safety precautions, most of which have already been in place with restaurants closing no later than 10 p.m. and no more than half capacity inside the eatery.

For an industry that’s faced immense hurdles this year due to COVID-19 causing closures and staff reductions, many restaurants like The Charles are still trying find a way to bring some cheer to what is typically one of their biggest days of the year by throwing a Great Gatsby-themed event.

People can dress up and dine like they are back in the Roaring 20s.

"We're just going to have a really safe and fun time. You know, we're at 50 percent so reservations are limited. All of our seating is appropriately spaced," said The Charles owner Bryce Hardy. "It's been a tough year for everyone and we're really looking forward to celebrating a new year," he added.

Restaurants like Aquila's Nest Vineyards said they have a few spots left to enjoy wine, live music and a food truck.

People can sit by outdoor fire pits and there will be countdowns during each of the two sessions offered.

"We're asking people to bring their most glamorous mask and we will pick a winner," said Aquila's Nest Vineyard owner Neviana Zhgaba. ""It's challenging and rightfully so because of the whole coronavirus situation, but I think they are excited to have a place where they can celebrate outdoors," Zhgaba added.

If you're interested in going to dine at a restaurant, you may want to make a reservation and get there early. Many places say they'll stop seating around 8:30 as they have to close by 10 p.m.

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