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Columbia restaurants get ready for reopening next week


A Columbia restaurant owner said Monday his business is ready to reopen but wants to do so safely.

Gov. Mike Parson on Monday unveiled his guidelines for reopening businesses once a statewide stay-at-home order expires May 3.

Matt Jenne, co-owner of Addison’s and Sophia's restaurants, said before Parson's briefing that he expected a limit on the number of people allowed in the restaurant and the spacing of tables would likely have to be spaced 6 feet apart.

Parson's new order includes the 6-foot rule, meaning both of Jenne's restaurants will have to remove half of their tables.

"The good news here at Addison's South is we have enough space to do that and still have a number of tables that are able to be in our restaurant," Jenne said

Jenne said early Monday afternoon that he was awaiting more guidance from the local health department.

As Missouri gets closer to reopening some states and counties that have already relaxed rules meant to slow down COVID-19's spread offer a preview of how businesses might operate.

Franklin County near St. Louis allowed some businesses to reopen Saturday, including golf courses, movie theaters, concert halls, gyms and fitness studios, tanning salons, bowling alleys and skating rinks, the St. Louis Post-Disptach reported.

In Georgia, hair salons are also taking precautions as employees and customers wear masks and gloves, maintain distance by using every other work station and keep a supply of hand sanitizer nearby, CNN reported.

Jenne he anticipates needing to control the number of people coming into the restaurants.

"Maybe through a reservation system, or if we do have a way of making people wait in their cars and we'll give them a call, just try and keep people as separated as possible I think is our goal,” he said.

Jenne said both restaurants are prepared if the health department recommends a strict level of sanitation and that all employees wear masks when providing service, as those precautions show customers they are trying their best to keep everything sanitary and safe.

Jenne said the restaurants are not going to push reopening and risk safety.

"Our mantra is if we're protecting our staff, then we're probably protecting our customers," Jenne said. "So we're going to do everything we can to keep our staff safe and then if that is the case, I think our customers are going to be safe, too."

Article Topic Follows: Coronavirus

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Amber Tabeling

Amber joined the ABC 17 News team as a multimedia journalist in December 2019. She was a student-athlete at Parkland College and Missouri Valley College. She hails from a small town in Illinois.


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