Normalcy returning for local restaurants as limited indoor seating allowed


NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY)- As most of Virginia enters phase 2 of opening back up, local restaurants are adjusting to the changes.

For months, restaurants have only been allowed to serve take out or delivery options until last week, when outside dining was permitted.

Granby Street Pizza owner Peter Freda says their patio areas have been full but they’re excited to welcome customers back inside.

“We’re just glad to be open and be here in this part of Norfolk. It’s a nice place to have a business and the community has really supported most of the businesses that have stayed open down here,” he said.

Phase 2 allows restaurants to seat 50-percent capacity.

Freda says he’s curious to find out how this will work because customers are also adjusting.

“A lot of people don’t know what to do. (We give them) a little bit of instruction with ‘You can sit here, or sit there.’ You can sit there. You know, distance yourself 6 feet from each other at the door,” he said.

Servers are also wearing masks and sanitizing tables and seats after each customer.

Friends Gary Withorpe, Larry Bird and Thomas Chassey did not eat at Granby Street Pizza, but say the restaurant they went to down the block also followed safety measures.

“They took a lot of precautions,” Chassy said. “They gave use single-use forks and everything. The tables were distanced apart. It was a good experience to be back.”

The guys say they weren’t concerned about health safety eating in the restaurant and wanted to support small businesses.

They believe now is the time to open up restaurants and take advantage of the opportunity but, they won’t be taking advantage of going to gyms, which are also now opened, anytime soon.

“We’ve been working out from home. I feel much more comfortable about going to a restaurant than the gym. There’s a lot more hygiene than going into the gym,” he said.

The group of friends are excited to be able to go back out and eat and say they’ll be eating out more this weekend.

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