Local restaurants ready to welcome back customers for indoor dining

Hampshire County

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – After closing their doors in March due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Bluebonnet Diner in Northampton has reopened for indoor dining.

The loosened restrictions are part of the second step of phase two of Massachusetts’s four-phased reopening plan as the state eases more regulations amid the pandemic.

The new order allows restaurants to offer indoor dining with parties of no more than six people per table. Bluebonnet Diner Owner, James Greco, told 22News that since being closed, they’ve been cleaning and preparing the restaurant’s staff to welcome customers back.

“It’s been a whirlwind since it happened. We have been preparing to reopen since we’ve closed. We’ve been cleaning, doing some repairs,” said Greco. “As it got closer we really ramped it up with the sanitizing and getting the crew ready.”

There are continued restrictions. Tables must be at least six feet apart and customers must wear a mask when away from their table.

Restaurant menus will be disposable and seating at bars is not allowed. BlueBonnet Co-Owner, Annie Greco explained that she and restaurant staff members have revamped the dining experience for safety and for customer comfort.

Annie told 22News, “We’ve been going through the restaurant and trying to make sure everything is accommodating for the customer and make the experience as comfortable as possible.”

Customers we spoke with, such as Audrey Hemlapp, said although it’s a different experience, it’s nice to be able to eat inside a restaurant once again.

Hemlapp told 22News, “It was different than normal dining would be as everything was the paper menus but that is obviously more sanitary but other than that it was a fantastic dining experience.”

Phase 3 of the state’s reopening plan includes reopening gyms, outdoor camps, and museums.

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