Some Greenville restaurants choose to remain at half capacity amid COVID-19 concerns

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GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) — Some restaurants in downtown Greenville staying at half capacity. Those owners said they can’t put a price on safety.

“At half capacity we are completely full,” Ali Saifi, who owns Pomegranate on Main, said.

It’s just one of the downtown restaurants remaining at the limited numbers.

“The health and safety of my staff as well as our guests is of great concern,” Saifi said.

He’s taking extra precautions too, like single use menus. He says it may cost him more, but he’s willing to absorb the cost to ensure safety.

“There’s no price that I can pay that would ever say it wasn’t enough,” he said.

And he’s not the only one. Across the street at Foxcroft Wine, owner Eric Heidal is staying at half capacity for now as well.

“These guys are on the front line everyday, you know, our staff and it’s really important to keep them safe and healthy and without them we don’t have a business,” Heidal said.

City spokesperson Beth Brotherton says they’re pleased to see businesses finding what works for their space.

“We respect the restaurants that are taking the time to be strategic in their decisions and doing what’s best for them,” she said.

She said some restaurants may find it easier to move to full capacity than others.

“There could be other restaurants or facilities that have larger open spaces that may feel more comfortable that they can still socially distance,” Brotherton said.

Restaurant owners like Saifi and Heidal say they’ve gotten both positive and negative responses to their choice. They say it’s ultimately about what’s safe for everyone.

“I think, for the most, part people are very happy with our decision they feel safe coming in here and that’s important to us,” Heidal said.

“I would love their money but the reason we’re doing this is for everyone’s safety,” Saifi said.

Governor Henry McMaster issued an executive order lifting restaurant occupancy limits in early October.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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