COVINGTON, Ky. (FOX19) - If you plan on dining out over the Memorial Day weekend, be ready for some changes since the coronavirus shutdown.
Bars and restaurants in Ohio reopened in-person dining Thursday with some restrictions, and now they are throwing open their doors in Kentucky.
There are 12 state guidelines restaurants and diners must follow as part of the state’s reopening plan.
In addition to seating capacity, restaurants must ensure employees wear face coverings and other personal protective equipment for any interactions with other workers and customers.
Other guidelines include:
- Limit the number of customers at tables to 10 people or less
- Consider reservations-only or call-ahead seating
- Use disposable menus, napkins, tablecloths, utensils and condiments and use electronic menus
- Provide hand sanitizer, places for customers and workers to wash hands and tissues
Grandview Tavern & Grille in Fort Mitchell has been in business for about 13 years and is locally owned.
During the shutdown, they offered curbside pick up and delivery, but employees said they are excited to welcome customers back starting Friday.
The owner Colleen Haws said she just wants her customers as well as staff to feel comfortable and safe during the reopening.
Servers will be wearing masks and gloves and all employees will have their temperature taken before each shift.
Servers have also been given plastic bins which contains their own salt and pepper shakers as well as sugar caddies to prevent items on the table being shared by multiple people. Servers are responsible for cleaning them off after each use.
Customers will be given disposable menus and, until the restaurant is able to gauge what their volume is going to be like in the coming weeks, they are limiting menu items.
Haws hopes people will understand that this is new for everyone and is asking customers to have patience moving forward.
“The other thing too is that we have to ask our guests to please practice safe distancing,” Haws said. “ You see people and you have an instinct to want get up and go over to talk to them and you just can’t. You know, will have to do a little bit of policing with that. We also just want them to be patient and realize we are all going through this together. It’s a whole different world.”
Haws said the most difficult part of the shutdown was having to let 38 employees go, but fortunately she has been able to bring them all back.
“Bringing them back has been very gratifying in the fact that you know they want to come back and they are excited," she said. "You know they miss their regulars, they missed the customers, they missed the communication, the feel good part of being a server and a bartender. It makes them proud and it makes me proud too.”
At this point, Grandview is only taking reservations in an effort to limit the amount of people waiting outside.