Restaurants reopening with a few changes

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Restaurants throughout the Commonwealth will be reopening on Friday, and restaurant owners and Bowling Green city officials are working to make the reopenings as successful and safe as possible.

Those openings come with quite a few restrictions including a maximum capacity of indoor seating of 33%.

Restaurants are also encouraged to use disposable napkins, utensils and condiments.

During the Bowling Green City Commissioners online meeting Tuesday, officials decided to suspend a City Code of Ordinances and regulations regarding restaurant operations during the pandemic.

This means local restaurants will be allowed to put tables outside in parking lots and sidewalks in order to allow restaurants to serve more customers at a time safely.

“They can seat more people if they have more room, and if it’s nice enough day like today, then they can certainly enjoy the outdoors,” said Bowling Green Mayor Bruce Wilkerson.

But with patrons dining in unusual spots, Bowling Green Commissioner Sue Parrigin reminded everyone involved to be cautious.

“I just hope that they do that with extreme caution and safety as cars will be encroaching on, closer to diners. And there may not be the barriers set up that they have with patios and other things,” said Parrigin.

Lisa Parker, the owner of Lisa’s 5th Street Diner in Bowling Green, says she is eager to reopen her dining room to her customers and will be putting tables for her customers to use.

“We’ve lost some tables. We’ve changed the way that the cash register, there is no lines, we are going to start taking the money at the tables. There is going to be, I am going to have to have a hostess, entrance, exit, no lemons, still using to-go silverware,” said Parker.

Social distancing and thorough sanitation will still be encouraged.

“We can’t wait. A little nervous. A little excited. I can only have 37 people in here at a time. Obviously, we have lost a lot of seat because we were 110. But we are going to have outdoor seating also. We are doing a patio and we are going to have picnic tables over here so we should be okay, hopefully,” said Parker.