‘Getting back to normal’: Restaurants welcome back customers for indoor dining

Local News

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — On Friday, many county restaurant owners were once again saying “welcome back” to customers.

As most of Virginia began Phase Two of Governor Ralph Northam’s Forward Virginia initiative – the city of Richmond and Northern Virginia were excluded – restaurants now allowed to resume indoor dining at 50 percent capacity were all smiles.

“It’s been a very trying time over the past few weeks so getting back to normal is definitely what we want,” said Karen Verdisco, the owner of Brew Craft Bar and Kitchen in Chesterfield. “It’s what our guests want.”

With restaurants opening their doors for inside dining, outdoor dining remains an option for eateries – and in some cases recommended.

“We are still encouraging our guests to sit outside,” Verdisco said.

Her restaurant, like many others, are following CDC guidelines and have taken safety precautions amid the threat of COVID-19.

Giuseppe Giambanco, the owner of the Roma Ristorante Italiano in Henrico County, told 8News the restaurant is still feeling the effects of COVID-19.

“We’ve gone down probably around 50 percent,” Giambanco told 8News.

Giambanco told 8News the restaurant will close off booths and will only use paper utensils to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

“You know we’re trying to make it as safe as possible for our customers,” Giambanco said.

Customers will also use digital menus taped to individuals tables. But above all else, Giambanco told 8News they’re just eager to welcome back more customers.

“We’re excited to, you know, go back to normal,” he said. “Hopefully within a few weeks, we can go to 100 percent capacity.”

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