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Local restaurants react to lifted restrictions

Updated: Jun. 11, 2021 at 6:51 PM CDT
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - It’s a day business has waited for over a year. For the first time since March of 2020 restaurants and bars across Kentucky will be able to open their dining rooms at 100% capacity.

“It is very exciting. This past year and a half have been an obstacle and for everyone, not just us. It’s been a lot of ups and downs and a lot of fluctuation as far as foot traffic and revenue and sales and it’s been a gamble,” said Khalil O’Neal, Pub by Novo Manager.

Many businesses suffered during the pandemic, but thanks to takeout orders, cocktails to go, and sidewalk dining, many were able to stay afloat. Local restaurants and bars say this will be a big relief for them and their customers.

“It means the world to them. During this whole shut down that we all went through we didn’t send anybody away, we didn’t lay off anyone, we said just do what is best for you and we’ll be here for you when you’re ready,” said John Shoulders, Montana Grille General Manager. “To be honest, there is not much more important to us as far as a restaurant goes. Our capacity limits are what enable us to do what we do as a restaurant and make sure that we cater to the guests, keep our wait times down and be able to serve quality food in an efficient manner. So now that we’re opened up back, to one hundred percent there is no one more excited than your restaurant managers and owners.”

O’Neal says this is an opportunity for their employees to earn a living and pay their bills.

“It’s very exciting. It means more opportunities for them to make more money. A lot of our employees have families. Most of them are college students and they have tuition to pay for. I myself, I’m in school full time as well. So, it is very exciting to see that we are able to come back full capacity.”

Local restaurant owners and managers say the best part is having their staff back to doing what they love most - serving their community.

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