Restaurant business making a comeback during Phase 2 of reopening

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — The restaurant business is making a come back since the state lifted restrictions and enter Phase 2 of reopening last Friday.

Restaurant and brewery businesses in the Triad were able to open their dining areas at 50 percent capacity. During the Memorial Day weekend, restaurant-goers took advantage of being able to dine-in.

Over at TJ’s Deli in Winston Salem, owner Mitch Smith says his customers were really excited to have the chance to reconnect with his business the way they did before COVID-19.

“They’ve been rejoicing, you know, to come back in and eat, so it’s been good. We’ve had a lot of people coming in and thanking us for being here,” Smith said.

Smith has owned the deli for nearly three decades. He was grateful that restaurants were a part of Phase 2.

“We were busy last night in here. I’ve cut my capacity in half. We went from 150 people to about 65 or 70 and it was pretty full,” Smith said.

In the downtown area, at Foothills Brewery there has been a steady flow of customers since Friday’s reopening.

“Today, Memorial Day, has been our busiest day,” said Jennie Hess, Foothills Brewing private event coordinator.

They have safety protocols in place for customers that include sanitizing before entering the door and, of course, staying six feet away from other guests.

“We have been very comfortable with the business level, the customer level that has been in since Friday night and we’re probably around 75 to 80 percent of our 50 percent capacity, so it’s been a comfortable busy,” Hess said.

Many restaurants are continuing take-out orders.

“It looks like the curbside is going to be here for a while to stay but I’m really happy with it,” Smith said.

“Take-out, thank goodness, that allowed us to keep our doors open since the middle of March but thank goodness Friday did come when it did. It was a very, very big surge in business for us,” Hess said.

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