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Maine restaurant owners react to Governor Mills’ new mandates

Updated: May. 13, 2021 at 10:34 PM EDT
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BANGOR/BREWER, Maine (WABI) - With the news that Maine is lifting indoor capacity limits and easing how far away we have to be from one another.

How will this affect restaurants?

The owner of Hero’s Sports Grill in Bangor, Quinn Paradis, says they found out the new rules when everyone else did Thursday afternoon.

He says not much has really changed for indoor businesses that serve food.

They will be able to go to 100% capacity on May 24th.

That was originally scheduled to be 75% capacity, but table spacing and masking will be the same indoors.

”It is tough to swallow right now but signs we’re hoping are in the right direction. Expanding would be great but I feel like we are idle right now what happened in the last update when we were able to go 50 percent capacity so that we could have people was awesome. that was huge got us more people inside but it’s like what’s the next step.”

Paradis says one of the first changes to allow 50% capacity made a big difference in getting people in their doors.

He says he’s excited for other businesses who can have as many customers as they want in like in retail stores.

Local business owners are trying to figure out what the change in the state’s rules will mean for them and their customers.

This is true for restaurants like masons in brewer.

General Manager Jake Bridges says he’s excited that new rules were released even though everyone still needs to be six feet apart and masked.

He says this is a step in the right direction.

”In the end, as they raise the percentage, we are still stuck with the six-foot separation. I can’t get any bigger. I can’t put any more people with this. We could put more bar seats. I am really excited to put more seats, but I think, kind of find that happy medium where maybe we add some bar seats, add some outside, but I think kind of maintain, I think, the separation a little bit, kind of makes for a better dining experience.”

Bridges says its great other businesses can have as many people inside as they want.

He says it’s a step closer to life as we know it.

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