W.Va. restaurants allowed to resume indoor dining

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HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- If you’re craving some food from your favorite restaurant, don’t rush to pick up the phone to make your order. West Virginians are now allowed to trade their dining room chair for a booth or high-top seating once again.

As part of West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice’s comeback plan, restaurants are now able to resume indoor-dining services, as long as they follow social distancing guidelines and maintain 50% capacity.

As part of Gov. Jim Justice’s comeback plan, restaurants are now able to resume indoor-dining services, as long as they follow social distancing guidelines and maintain 50% capacity.

Some owners were eager to fully open back up Thursday, like Erin Treacy of Hwy 55 Burgers Shakes & Fries.

“We’ve been looking forward to this day,” Treacy said. “We’ve been getting a lot of calls, so hopefully we see a lot of those people who called yesterday to make sure we would be ready for today.”

Others would rather wait until the capacity limit is lifted.

“We’re going to wait until there’s no limits, but we’re just gonna play it by ear,” says Drew Hetzer, owner of Backyard Pizza and The Peddler.

Hetzer says curbside pickups for both restaurants have been successful throughout the pandemic.

From a financial standpoint, “it's better if we have availability for full capacity,” Hetzer said. “If I bring back more employees, then I’ll have to have more revenue coming in.”

The 50% capacity was a struggle for Treacy to follow, as well, since her space is not big enough to follow proper social distancing guidelines. So instead, she came up with a new strategy.

“We followed the six feet, not the half capacity, because that was the safer route,” says Treacy.

Whether it's curbside pick-up or limited in-door dining, West Virginia restaurant owners like Treacy and Hetzer are excited to see the day when they don’t have to cut people off at the door. For now, having the opportunity to see some of their regulars once again is worth the wait.