ONEIDA COUNTY, NY (WUTR-TV) — Thursday marks day one of the Mohawk Valley region restaurants being able to serve customers while using their outdoor dining. The governor’s office released the news that restaurants can open outdoor dining in Phase Two of reopening Wednesday afternoon. With short notice, local restaurant owners did what they can to prepare for the change.
“It was kind of a big surprise, but a welcome surprise,” says Michael Ezzo, owner of Carmella’s Cafe in New Hartford. Since March, restaurants were only allowed to do curbside pick-up. “We’ve been amping up to get ready for outdoor seating figuring it was coming soon just not this soon,” says Dan Loconti, owner of Ancora!.
Some restaurants who have not served customers outdoors have implemented an outdoor dining section. “We weren’t expecting it as soon as we did. I do have different plans in place to accommodate outdoor seating, there was a permit that I had to fill out as well as some posted guidelines to abide by the New York State Health Department,” says Michael Voltz, owner of Killabrew Saloon.
All restaurants who serve alcoholic beverages and choose to do outdoor dining must follow these guidelines from the New York State Liquor Authority. Employees and staff must wear face coverings. Customers will need to wear face coverings too when they are not seated at their tables.
Ancora!, Carmella’s Cafe, and Killabrew Saloon all say their outdoor dining capacity does not match to the size of their indoor dining, but this change will help business a lot.