WHEAT RIDGE, Colo. (KDVR) — After an outdoor dining-only holiday season, Colorado restaurants are gearing up to bring customers back inside.
The Colorado governor has asked that all Level Red counties move to orange on Monday.
Officials announced Friday that the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment also granted permission for businesses in Jefferson County to apply for the 5 Star program, effectively allowing them to operate with fewer restrictions if they follow certain guidelines.
At Grammy’s Goodies in Wheat Ridge, it’s been a difficult holiday season only serving customers outside on their patio.
“I love having this place packed shoulder-to-shoulder and I’ve spent the better part of all these months shooing people out the door telling them wait outside and that’s been breaking my heart,” owner Vickie Corder said.
“I feel bad for the restaurants, it has got to be hard serving the customers out here,” regular customer Monica Fortunato said.
The Fortunatos and other loyal customers have allowed Grammy’s to keep their entire staff during this pandemic, but restrictions have forced a 40% drop in business at the restaurant. Typically Grammy would also cater 40 big outdoor events a year. This year, all events were cancelled.
Accommodating outdoor dining has also been a costly challenge for Grammy’s and other restaurants state-wide.
“We could rent another building for a month for what the tents cost, the propane is scary now that it’s gotten cold, propane is very expensive,” Corder said.
The Corders are grateful to hear about the shift back to Level Orange restrictions.
“Twenty-five percent capacity for us is about 15 people, it’s pretty small but anything helps for sure,” owner Jeff Corder said.
“We will still need to utilize outside but we’ll take what we can get,” Vicki Corder said.
“Our customers have been wonderful, we are lucky. They’ve sat in the cold, they’ve waited in line, they’ve been patient they are like family to us.”