Restaurants weigh in on phase 4 reopening

Do the loosened restrictions help?
Published: Oct. 22, 2020 at 4:40 PM EDT
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BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - “It’s still the same Hero’s. The same food, same customers, same service.”

Quinn and Christina Paradis are co-owners of Hero’s Sports Grill in Bangor.

Phase 4 of Maine’s COVID-19 economic reopening plan allows restaurants to have the lesser of 50% capacity or 100 people in their building.

“While it expanded to a max of 100 people you now have to include your employees so that takes it down a little bit." said Christina. "Also used to be 50 people per room so we could use our skybox and that didn’t count towards our 50 downstairs. Now it’s the whole building.”

They are hopeful that the loosening of restrictions will encourage more people to stop by, but expect take-out orders will continue to keep them afloat.

“I’d say we’re fortunate to have the large space." said Quinn. "Be able to spread people out and get the numbers we need to get. I do feel bad for smaller restaurants because it takes away the cozy feel that’s how they were designed to be.”

Paddy Murphy’s in downtown Bangor is one such cozy spot.

“As a small business owner you have to look at the opportunity. The silver lining of everything that happens no matter what it is.”

Owner John Dobbs says the phase 4 changes aren’t making a big difference for them either, but the approach of winter will eventually force them to close down the patio.

“We actually built some really nice wooden dividers between all our church pew seating so we can have the separation. We’re practicing all the CDC guidelines all the Maine guidelines.”

They used the time early in the pandemic to renovate the kitchen and improve efficiency.

“When things return to normal you carry on with that efficiency. Hopefully making the business better.”

Dobbs says it all comes down to customers continuing to support their local businesses.

“Most folks completely understand. They’re happy to wear their mask. They’re happy to just still be coming down to Paddy’s and having a pint and having a burger.”

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