Customers relish return to normalcy as restaurants reopen


DENVER (KDVR) — It feels like a lifetime ago when people could meet up, sit down and enjoy a meal with friends. But after two months of cooking meals at home or ordering takeout, On Wednesday, Denverites got a chance to sit down and be served for the first time since mid-March.

Wednesday marked the first day most Denver-area businesses could open their doors to dine-in options, and customers made a point of supporting them.

“It definitely feels different,” said Natalie Gray. “It’s all kind of new territory for us.”

“It actually feels amazing.” said TJ Wessel. “I think it’s something we all took for granted — just sitting out and having a drink.”

The experience is different as soon as you reach the door: signs for social distancing, restaurant rules posted on easels out front, and hosts greeting you with mask and a temperature gun. The process is a little foreign, but customers say they’re willing to adapt for a sense of the familiar.

“We’re just excited to have tables and drinks and food back,” Gray said. “And have our friends and be able to be social again.”

“It’s nice to just be served in a normal glass, sitting outside, watching cars,” said Lauren Lewakowski. “They need to follow strict guidelines, I’m happy to abide by whatever it is they need.”

Some Denver restaurants have decided to stay closed to dine-in options as they prepare their space to follow state guidelines, while other smaller spaces are waiting until the city approves applications to expand outdoor dining. Currently there is a 50% indoor occupancy cap for dining, or 50 patrons, but there is no cap for outdoor dining under state guidelines.

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