LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Kentucky’s reopening of businesses continues as restaurants welcome back customers at 33-percent capacity inside, along with outdoor seating if they have the space.
WAVE 3 News found many restaurants at Norton Commons taking advantage of moving as many tables outside as they could on the first day back. With Friday’s nice weather, that move paid off.
“I’m super excited to see everyone back,” said Gustavo Reyes, the owner of Gustavo’s Mexican Grill. The employees he was able to keep, thanks to a good carry-out business, were sporting masks and gloves as they began serving tables again. After weeks of just carry-out, Reyes, and his popular restaurant are back and busy. Patrons like Karen Zegart were ready to hit the patio when Reyes opened.
“I’m so excited,” she said. “It’s like being let out of a cage.”
Reyes, whose restaurant is cleaned daily, said of the reopening rules, “We take the regulations to keep the distances six feet from each table.”
Reyes said he was able to add space inside by moving more tables outside.
“I’m, you know, enjoying being around other people, granted we are going to be 6 feet apart, but it’s better than being stuck in your house," patron Jerry Zegart said.
The Tea Station Asian Bistro also was open for business Friday.
“The servers get to come back and people get to get outside and feel normal,” Tea Station Asian Bistro owner Alan Jones said. Jones added that the best part of getting the outdoor dining areas open is getting servers like Suzy Lancaster back on the job. Jones said he was only able to keep hosts and hostesses for carry-out.
“I have family members who are more susceptible to risk, so I really wanted to stay home to stay safe for them,” Lancaster said. "It was really nice to be able to come back.”
Lancaster said she feels safe serving outside in the new uniform.
“These wonderful masks and gloves and everything like that," she said.
After seeing fellow restaurant Verbena Cafe close around the corner, Jones said he feels grateful to be able to reopen but believes it will take some time for all restaurants to get customers to come back inside.
“I think our carry-out and delivery will still go because there’s still some uncertainty out there," Jones said.
Added Zegart: “I think we are all worried and it’s going to come slowly, but I don’t think it will take long. I really don’t. We just really want to get out."