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Restaurants allowed to reopen Monday in Ga.

It's estimated nearly a quarter of a million workers in Alabama's restaurant and hotel industry will lose their jobs over the COVID-19 pandemic. (Source: WIS)
It's estimated nearly a quarter of a million workers in Alabama's restaurant and hotel industry will lose their jobs over the COVID-19 pandemic. (Source: WIS)(WTVY News 4)
Published: Apr. 27, 2020 at 9:35 AM CDT
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Georgians will be allowed to eat inside restaurants again starting Monday.

Governor Brian Kemp is giving the green light for dine-in service, but not everyone is ready for it.

Several Savannah restaurants tell WTOC they won’t be setting tables just yet.

The Wyld Dock Bar started offering take out service last Friday. Technically, they could begin offering dine-in service, but the owner says it’s not going to happen right now.

WTOC spoke to Wyld Dock Bar Owner Thomas Syfan last Friday as he was preparing the restaurant’s take out service. Syfan says he’s implementing several safety measures, like requiring employees to wear face masks. He’s also allowing customers to eat their to-go meals outside, but they are using minimal tables with chairs placed more than six feet apart.

Syfan says the take out option is harder because the Wyld Dock is known to be a destination spot. Customers want to drive to the restaurant and stay to enjoy the fresh air and views of the water, not to just pick up food and take it home. But thanks to the restaurant being on the water, it’s able to serve a different clientele.

"We see a lot of people on boats. People aren't working, so they're spending time on the water. And we've heard from people who say they'd pick up food from us, so we said okay we will try to reopen and cater to those people since there seemed to be a demand for it," said Owner Thomas Syfan.

As far as when things will go back to normal for this restaurant, the owner says they're taking it slow and monitoring the situation.

Another restaurant who says it will remain closed right now is Spudnik on Broughton Street. Technically, they are able to offer take out or delivery service. But, Owner Andrew Wanamaker says he doesn’t believe he would have the clientele to make a reasonable profit just yet. Instead, he is focusing on feeding the homeless population.

Wanamaker is teaming up with a neighboring business, Pounce Cat Cafe, to offer free lunches to the homeless. They’re also offering free pet food since some also have pets. They handed out over 20 bagged lunches on their first day last week and plan to do it for as long as they can.

When it comes to business, WTOC asked Wanamaker about what it will take for him to start operations again.

"Well, of course, the safety of whether it seems like people are coming out or not, and then also are those people coming out to spend money. If people aren’t here to spend money, it doesn’t make sense for me to open and have all these other expenses like employees and the food, and of course, your utilities jump up a lot when you have an oven on eight hours a day, “ Wanamaker said.

The restaurant owners have created a GoFundMe account for anyone who wants to help them with their free lunch program. So far, they’ve already raised over $2,000.

If you’re interested in learning more,

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If you do decide to dine-in on Monday, things will be a little different. Governor Kemp announced some guidelines for restaurants to follow if they do choose to reopen. They include the following:

● No salad bars or buffets.

● Must use rolled silverware rather than presetting their tables.

● Encouraged to use disposable menus to cut down on people touching the same items. If not, then employees must sanitize the menus after each use.

● Redesign seating arrangements to ensure six feet of social distancing.

● Encouraged to limit customers to reservation-only, or at least ask diners to call ahead.

Copyright 2020 WTOC. All rights reserved.

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