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Restaurants adjust to Phase One reopening that requires outdoor seating

Opening Back Up
Posted at 4:39 PM, May 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-18 18:04:20-04

NORFOLK, Va. - It was a different sight on Granby Street.

“It was great. It was a blessing,” said James Meade. He’s the kitchen manager at Chico’s Pizza.

A blessing to see people out and eating at some of their favorite restaurants again.

“We had a great turnout from out guests, a lot of our regular faces that we have missed over the past few weeks,” said Olivia Gray, the operations director at Leone's Italian Restaurant.

For almost two months, businesses were forced to close their dining areas. In Phase One of reopening, Virginia restaurants can serve guests if they have outdoor seating.

“We are thankful that we have that place set up as a part of our regular operation to be able to offer extended dinning to our guests,” Gray adds.

Even with the additional space, Gray says they are only allowed to seat 50% of their normal capacity.

“We are just going to continue to do what we can,” she adds.

For restaurants that don’t have outdoor seating areas, like Chicho's Pizza, the Downtown Norfolk Council provided them with barricades and furniture to put outside so they can still serve their customers.

“We are grateful to the City of Norfolk for providing that. It was a wonderful thing,” Meade said.

He says it wasn’t the turnout they anticipated, but it was still a sight to see.

“It was very positive; very good things. We saw people dancing across the street,” he adds.

To continue practicing social distancing, signage is placed inside and outside restaurant. At Leone’s, guests must also enter and exit from different doors.

Both restaurants still offer curbside and delivery options.

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