Southern Illinois restaurants offer outside dining due to COVID-19 restrictions

Southern Illinois restaurants offer outside dinning due to COVID-19 restrictions

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) -As the temperature drops, Southern Illinois restaurant owners add new features to make outdoor seating more comfortable.

Illinois’s new COVID-19 restrictions may make dining in look a bit different.

Normally you would sit inside and enjoy a meal=, now you will find yourself dining outside with a mask.

“We want our employees to be safe and healthy and we want that to translate to our guests,” said Amy Mills, Co-Owner of 17th Street BBQ in Marion.

Mills explained they set up tarps, covering and heaters to make it a little more comfortable for guests. They also keep contact tracing forms, and ask guests to sign in with a phone number or email.

“So, in the event that we were called by the health department and someone was infected and ate on our patio. We would be able to say, these are people who may have been exposed,” said Mills.

Despite the change, local restaurants owners said customers are adjusting well.

“It seems like the patrons like it, they know what’s expected of them and I think they know we’re one of the safest places in town,” said Walt Nieds.

Owner of Walt’s Pizza and Restaurant in Marion, Walt Nieds, said his business also offers patio dining, but no more than six people can sit at one table.

Nieds said he anticipates the day his restaurant can go back to normal, but right now he wants to be safe.

“I hope everybody relaxes and be patient through this whole thing because it has been quite an ordeal but it will get over eventually,” said Neids.

Both restaurants take walk-ins and require people to wear a mask when entering the dining area.

Copyright 2020 KFVS. All rights reserved.