Local News

Customers, restaurant owners feel safe, enjoying chance to eat out again

Posted May 23, 2020 6:04 p.m. EDT
Updated May 23, 2020 10:56 p.m. EDT

— It’s been more than 24 hours since North Carolina went into Phase 2 of its reopening plan after the coronavirus pandemic.

On Friday, many restaurants opened their doors for dine-in service. But how comfortable do North Carolinians feel eating out? Many said they felt better eating outdoors than indoors, for now.

Outdoors at Starbucks

Vivace Restaurant in North Hills was one of many restaurants prepping for busy crowds this Memorial Day holiday weekend. You could see diners enjoying dinner on the outdoor patio, something they’ve missed doing with dine-in options being restricted for about two months. Many of the diners said they were comfortable eating outdoors instead of indoors.

Restaurants across the Tar Heel State are allowing customers to dine-in once again. Many diners are choosing to eat outdoors. Bob and Elizabeth Viohl say it’s a matter of safety. they brought masks with them but took them off while eating.

Outdoors at Bonefish Grill

"It was an easy decision to come and enjoy outside," Elizabeth Viohl said. "We can't eat with them, so it's safe down here."

Customers are getting used to social distance requirements. Gov. Roy Cooper recommends wearing masks at restaurants.

Jed Orton, the manager of Vivace Restaurant, said he noted a lot of customers without masks at his restaurant.

"Many of them came to us with masks on and ordered with masks, but certainly, when the food arrives, they do come off," Orton said.

People said they feel safe eating out right now. Many peole also said they're still taking precautions such as eating at an earlier time to avoid crowds.

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