CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – For the first time in a long time, bars and restaurants across the Mountain State are back to seating at 100% capacity. So, last night was a chance for patrons to get out – and restaurant owners to make some money!
Saturday night was the first time since March 17, 2020, bars and restaurants could have a full house. Gov. Jim Justice made the announcement Friday and it was music to the state’s leisure industry.
“One of the busiest days we’ve had in 16 months and the weekend prior was busy,” Kevin Madison, General Manager of Black Sheep said.
Dining facilities still have to social distancing rules and masks are still a requirement. Not everyone is rushing to that 100% figure.
“Here at Black Sheep, we’re still at 75-80%. We want to give people that extra space. People are feeling more comfortable, but we want to stay on top of the game and follow in-house procedures during COVID.”
Diners say it’s about time things get back to normal.
“We’ve done a lot of education around mask-wearing, we’ve done a lot of vaccinations and I believe these industries are hurting and it’s time we do open them up,” Wallace Suttle, Customer at Pies and Pints said.
Others say they are not nervous about eating out with COVID-19, but people should still do their part to slow the spread.
“It’s really made me more conscious of what I’m touching and germs and things like that, which is a better thing for all of us in general just to be more cautious of those things,” Zachary Fiske, Customer at Adelphia said.
Along with some normalcy, restaurant staff says they’re glad to have more business in the coming weeks to help make up for the huge amount of business lost.
“We collectively struggled last year, but it’s great to see people coming out, it’s exciting, you know, Charleston is coming back to life. It’s a really good thing,” Madison said.
Restaurant staff says there is always another chance for a COVID-19 outbreak but will do all they can to try to prevent that from happening.