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Local businesses see big turn out as reopening plans advance

Customers seen waiting for tables at restaurants, bars
Posted at 10:28 PM, Jun 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-13 10:56:00-04

Businesses in Milwaukee County’s suburban communities are able to welcome more customers.

Starting Friday night, restaurants and bars can go from 50 to 75 percent capacity. This comes as the county sees a downward trend in new positive cases of coronavirus.

Even though the threat of COVID-19 still exists, places we visited were packed Friday night.

“It’s been crazy busy,” said Matt Carr, a bartender at Samano’s in Cudahy. “Just insanely busy.”

It’s a welcomed boost of business at Samano’s, where people were willing to wait for a table.

“Some waited for an hour,” Carr said. “Sitting down is mostly reservation-only at this point, because we’re so backed up. It’s phenomenal coming after what we’ve been through.”

Very few people we saw chose to wear masks or distance themselves.

“I think it’s just that people are really ready to get out and start doing stuff again,” Carr said.

It was a similar scene at The Brick Pub and Grill in Glendale.

“I feel very safe here,” said Jason Weseman. “It’s really good to be back, and get to see everybody again.”

Once the seats fill up at the bar, no one is allowed to stand in the bar area.

“We don’t want groups of people standing around,” said Chelsea Hren, co-owner of The Brick. “We don’t want huge groups that we have to squeeze people through.”

Tables have been moved further apart from each other, and some are separated by partitions. No more than six or seven people can sit at one table.

“Overall, being able to increase our capacity is really nice, because more people are getting more comfortable to eat out again,” Hren said. “Now, we don’t have to turn people away, and we can have that interaction with each other we’ve all been craving. It’s almost like a reunion.”

As Milwaukee County suburbs move to this next phase of reopening, another wave of coronavirus cases is emerging in other parts of the U.S. Although, it’s not clear if they’re directly linked to more businesses re-opening to more people.

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