reopening

Palm Beach Restaurants Prepare for Monday's First Phase of Reopening

Restaurants and shops in Palm Beach County can reopen provided they keep indoor capacity at 25%

NBC Universal, Inc.

Restaurants in Palm Beach County spent Mother’s Day preparing to open their doors for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic began, as the area enters the first phase of reopening on Monday.

Restaurants and shops in Palm Beach County can reopen provided they keep indoor capacity at 25%. Outside seating must be six feet apart.

NBC affiliate WPTV-TV reports, the first phase will have an effect on restaurants like Evo Italian Restaurant in Jupiter.

“It has impacted my business by a tremendous amount,” said Erik Petterson, Chef and Owner of Evo Italian Restaurant. “You’re losing alcohol revenue, I’m losing wine revenue, I’m losing bar business, on top of the fact that there are people that are outright scared to come out even to pick up curbside take out.”

Over the last few days, Petterson and his employees have been hard at work moving most of the dining room furniture outside and making changes. All in an effort to comply with the state's new regulations.

“My job right now is to make everybody feel comfortable,” Said Petterson. "There is hand sanitizer literally on every table, hand sanitizers on the way to the bathroom, I have a hand sanitizer before you come in the door.”

Last week, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis lifted partially lifted his “safer at home” order, allowing restaurants and retail shops to begin operating at 25% capacity around Florida. Excluded from the initial reopening plan were the three South Florida counties that have been the epicenter of the pandemic in the state.

But the governor said Palm Beach County had been trending in the right, downward direction in terms of residents testing positive for the virus.

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