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Restaurants react to new West Virginia eatery guidelines

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MERCER COUNTY, W.Va. (WVVA) -- Eating, drinking, and being merry in a socially distanced style.

Restaurants have taken a major hit due to the CDC's pandemic guidelines. But with seating restrictions now raised to 75% capacity, local eateries and watering holes are looking forward to a more normal atmosphere.

"Well, we're really excited because now we can do 75% capacity as well as letting live music come back," said Emma Cole, the manager of The Railyard. "So that's really big for us, we've always been a live music singing."

Smaller restaurants face a seating dilemma, because they don't have the spaced needed to socially distance.

"We are a small cafe, so we're going to continue to operate at 50% capacity until he releases that we can operate at full capacity," said Nicole Coeburn, the manager of The Blue Spoon Cafe.

"The way the our seating is, we still have to do the spacing between... So i don't think it's going to make a lot of difference for us as far as increasing capacity," said Dolly Lane, the owner of Dolly's Diner.

But restaurateurs are looking forward to the day all pandemic restrictions for their businesses are taken off the menu.

Coeburn says that it will be up to the customers if they will will dine in or carry out.

"It's not really my comfort level, it's the comfort level of the people," said Coeburn. "Do the people feel comfortable coming out and dining at full capacity yet, I don't know."

Small grocery stores are also increasing their capacity from 3 people per 1,000 square feet to 6 people per 1,000 square feet.

Grant's store manager says this will create more fluidity in shopping.

"They don't have to wait, you know rainy weather, of course they can line up on our sidewalk, or if it gets cold, they can be outside rather than waiting outside," said Randall Shrewsbury, the store manager of Princeton's Grants Supermarket.

Christina Kass

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