Upstate restaurants preparing outdoor space for customers, others holding tight

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SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – Restaurants across South Carolina are getting ready for a big day. Beginning Monday, they are now allowed to open their outdoor dining areas. But some are holding tight.

Abandoned patio furniture will no longer be lonely.

“We are happy to be serving our regulars and our customers again. We look forward to seeing more people downtown,” said Delaney’s Irish Pub Public Relations Manager, Kevin Ashcraft.

At least that’s the case at Delaney’s Irish Pub in Spartanburg where they’re gearing up to welcome back customers to a meal outside.

But things might be looking a little different to the regular customer. There’s some guidelines restaurant owners have to follow amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

“All of our tables will meet the guidelines, no more than eight people at a table,” said Ashcraft.

On top of that, the guidelines come with rules about sanitizing chairs and tables between each customer.

That’s what they’re doing across city lines at Smoke on the Water in Greenville.

In fact restaurant staff are doing so much of it, they’re waiting to open their outdoor dining area until they feel it’s time. They told us that’s likely to happen near the end of the week.

“Governor McMaster and the South Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association came up with great guidelines for us to go by but we really wanted to go above and beyond and make sure to do anything we can to ensure their safety,” said Smoke on the Water Co-Owner, Mike Shuler.

For Greenville resident, David Lovell, he believes that time is now.

“The distance just compared to walking on a sidewalk next to people is much farther apart, or grocery stores that have been open for weeks or continued to stay open. So I don’t think it adds any additional risk,” said Greenvile Resident, David Lovell.

But others are taking it easy.

“I would not want to see a spike in COVID related to someone sitting next to me at a restaurant,” said Greenvile Resident, Mercy Dawson.

There have been suggestions to allow indoor dining starting later in the month. That’s to give time to restaurants to prepare for the new rules they need to follow. No word right now if or when that will be happening in South Carolina.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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