Public Square eateries excited about outdoor dining

WWNY Public Square eateries excited about outdoor dining

WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - Just in time for the start of Phase 3, people will be able to take a seat to eat outside in Watertown’s Public Square.

"We have seen other communities welcoming people with outdoor dining in public spaces so we thought what a great way to help these business owners who have been struggling in the past few months and give people an opportunity to, if they're able, go and support local businesses," said Sarah Compo, city council member.

Spots will be set up for outdoor dining and Watertown lawmakers plan to relax the open container law on Public Square.

"We're excited about the outdoor seating. We have a lot of tables that we will be placing out here, but for other businesses, they'll have tables to use as well," said Libby Dephtereos, manager, The Crystal Restaurant.

While restrictions outside have eased, inside they're tightening.

"We placed five-foot barriers in between each booth so that way we could maximize our capacity in the restaurant as well as our outdoor dining," said Dephtereos.

Under Phase 3, restaurant employees must wear a face covering at all times.

When it comes to the bar and indoor seating, social distancing becomes the norm.

Dephtereos says the process of going out to eat will look a lot different.

"We're gonna do first come, first serve. We'll try to stay away from the reservations as for right now and see how that goes, and we'll just, like I said, do the booths, and without the booth that should get us to about 50 percent," she said.

Despite the tightened restrictions, local restaurants and eateries can agree they've waited months for this moment.

"I am extremely thrilled to see customers and people back in the restaurant that I can talk to again. It's just I'm so happy we're finally at that stage," said Dephtereos.

"We're really looking forward to being able to help out these local businesses and give people in the city of Watertown an opporunity to patronize these local restaurants," said Compo.

Just one step closer to establishing our new normal.

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