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Restaurants re-open for dine-in customers with phase-one requirements in place

Posted at 6:17 PM, May 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-05 15:30:31-04

HELENA -- For the first time in over a month, diners and servers re-united at restaurants all across Montana in accordance with Governor Bullock's phased re-opening plans.

Though the re-opening for many restaurants will be slow, George Carlon, a server at the Windbag Saloon in Helena was just happy to be back to work.

"It feels great to be back to work. I love this job. I love being able to connect with the community," said Carlon, donning a mask and gloves. "It's really good to be back and see some old faces and just being in the back in the swing of things."

For diners, the feeling was mutual.

Caleb Carpenter said prior to the restaurant shutting down, the Windbag Saloon was a staple in his life noting he would frequent the restaurant anywhere from three to four times a week. Now that his favorite restaurant is back up and running, he said he'll happily keep up that routine.

"I'm just glad that it's finally back open again. It's awesome that the community is coming back and reopening," said Carpenter as he patiently waited for his food. "I think this little thing going on here, it's gonna be really helpful for people to get out and spend a little money for the community and help small businesses."

Though restaurants are back open, they are still under stringent guidelines in terms of both social distancing and sanitizing.

To stay in line with regulations, restaurants are required to provide adequate social distance between diners, which means fewer tables in each restaurant, as well as waiting until the customers get up from the table to bus the plates and promptly sanitize the entirety of the table and seating areas.

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