KY restaurants given official green light to reopen

KY restaurants given official green light to reopen

OWENSBORO, Ky. (WFIE) - Restaurants across the commonwealth officially have the green light to reopen to customers, and officials say this could mean big things for the local economy.

“Research shows that 79% of revenue from local restaurants goes back into the local economy," Brittaney Johnson, President and CEO of the Greater Owensboro Economic Development Corporation said.

This grand reopening can mean big things for the local economy and restaurant owners.

“We are definitely excited to be open today and the customers seem that they are very excited also," Greg Floyd, owner of Ole South Barbecue said.

However, Floyd says that customers will notice some changes.

“Since we are at a limited capacity seating inside the restaurant, we have chosen to add outdoor seating under a tent," Floyd said. “We’ve added approximately 64 chairs."

Real Hacienda owner Armando Ortiz says his restaurant is having to make some adjustments too.

“We’re still learning the process again," Ortiz said. “Even though we’ve been in business for 23 years, this is challenging because we have to follow more guidelines and more protocols."

Restaurants must follow a 33% indoor capacity limit. Unlimited outdoor seating is allowed as long as social distancing is practiced.

“Of course, 33% which is - I mean 33% is not enough," Ortiz said. “I mean we’re excited to start out."

Johnson, who’s the President of the Greater Owensboro Chamber of Commerce, says it’s important to support small businesses as they continue to open their doors.

“Everyone wants to see these small businesses succeed, but please remember to continue to support small businesses, restaurants, retail, etc.,” Johnson said.

Gov. Andy Beshear has not given any specific dates for Phase 3 of Kentucky’s reopening plan, but he says they hope to reopen bars and allow groups of 50 people by July.

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