UTICA, N.Y. - Phase 3 of reopening could begin Friday, June 12.
In phase 3, restaurants will be allowed to open indoor areas with safety measures in place.
Salvatore Borruso, owner of Tavolo in Utica, says following a list of guidelines will be easy compared to the hardships they have faced for the past three months.
"It was the worst thing you could ever imagine in this industry; it was terrible, what our employees went through it was just the most horrific thing," Borruso said. "We've been shut down for so long that the slow reopening isn't really that much of a bother."
Some of the guidelines include limiting indoor capacity to no more than 50% of maximum occupancy, exclusive of employees, limiting outdoor capacity to the number of tables that can be safely and appropriately arranged, such that each table is a minimum of 6 ft. away from another, wherever distancing is not feasible between tables, physical barriers must be enacted between such tables, employees must wear face masks at all times, and patrons must wear face coverings when they are not seated. Individuals seated at the same table must be members of the same party, with a maximum of 10 people per table, seating in bar areas and communal tables are only permitted if at least 6 ft. can be maintained between parties, clearly signal 6 ft. spacing in any lines for customers waiting to order, pick-up food, be seated or use the restroom, as well as in any pick-up or payment location are other guidelines included.
"We'll work through it, we'll the comply, I mean just the last couple of days have been like a breath of fresh air for the staff," Borruso said. "People are coming in, eating and drinking and enjoying themselves, you know, we're good with it, we'll get through it and just go by the rules to get to where we have to be."
Borruso says he is also working on other safety measures to go above and beyond for the health and safety of the employees and customers.
"We added a foot-pull for the door so you don't have to touch the handles, we ordered the faucets that go on and off by them selves, we're trying to get someone to install some automatic door openers on the outside of the building," Borruso said. "We're just trying to keep everybody happy and everybody safe."