NEW HARTFORD, N.Y. -- Restaurant owners on Friday were excited about seeing familiar faces in their establishments once again. In an effort to keep the coronavirus from spreading, restaurants have been closed or reduced to take-out and delivery, only, for the past three months. Friday marked the beginning of Phase 3's reopening in the Mohawk Valley region. That includes indoor dining at restaurants. Now, restaurant owners wait to see if people, tired of being homebound, will flock to their doors, or, adhere to newly-formed habits of getting takeout or cooking at home.
"Takeouts today were huge. I thought maybe it would have been a little busier at lunch seeing that we got the go ahead. Tonight might be a different story," said Phil Amodio, owner of Pumpernickel's Deli, in the New Hartford Shopping Center. "Actually, I did put almost a full crew on for tonight. Being an unpredictable situtation, you just had to go with high hopes," said Amodio.
Customers at Pumpernickel's Deli will notice some changes; paper menus, more space between tables, and forbidden tables, covered with tape....a painfully contradictory act, for restaurant owners eager to make up some of the revenue they've lost over the past three months. But-social distancing must be maintained....and masks worn.
Owners and staff at Bella Cucina, in New Hartford, are looking forward to seeing familiar faces Friday night at tables that have been empty for too long.
"Yes, we do have regulars that have been watiing. Actually, she's received some phone calls. They're among some fo the people we anticipate being here tonight and we look forward to seeing our customers for this three and a half month hiatus we've had," said Tony Lupino.