Oceanfront restaurants get ready for a different kind of Memorial Day weekend crowd as beach reopens

Posted at 10:20 PM, May 22, 2020

VRIGINIA BEACH, Va. - The Barnes family is trading in the mountains for some sand this weekend.

“We have been wanting for about two weeks now to go to the beach,” said Katie Barnes.

Restaurants on the boardwalk like Calypso Bar and Grill say they’re ready for guests from near and far this Memorial Day weekend.

“We did see some Pennsylvania and Ohio people,” said Lynn Spencer. She’s the assistant general manager at Calypso.

She’s expecting a much smaller crowd than previous years.

“Just a bunch of people everywhere - a full bar, full madness,” she adds.

But Spencer is still anticipating a turnout if the rain stays away.

“If we need to put anybody on a wait, we just get their cellphone number, let them walk around and give them a call when we are ready.”

While restaurants work on their crowds, the city is placing ambassadors at every beach access point to remind people of the guidelines like no big coolers, no alcohol and no group sports. If beachgoers don’t comply with the guidelines, a supervisor will be called - and if that doesn’t work, law enforcement is next.

Related: Virginia Beach's beaches reopen to scrutiny

“I think what we are trying to prevent as well as everybody is everyone calling 911 about some issue they might see on the beach,” said Mike Hilton. He’s the co-director of the ambassador program.

The city also has clean team members wiping and spraying down surfaces to keep everyone safe.

“We just stay our six feet apart,” said Barnes.

Virginia Beach city leaders want to remind beachgoers that “your help is in your hands” to help stop the spread of coronavirus.

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