BANGOR/BREWER – Penobscot County restaurants are back open for dine-in customers. It comes as we enter Phase 2 in Governor Janet Mills’ reopening plan.
“They’ve been saying for a couple of weeks when they picked up their takeout, ‘I‘d rather be sitting over at that table, or I can’t wait to come back in’,” said Chase’s Family Restaurant Co-Owner Stephen Chase. “They’ve missed everybody, and we’ve missed them too.”
Workers at Chase’s Family Restaurant in Bangor have been following proper sanitation guidelines since before restaurants were ordered to shut down dine-in operations. Now they’re adjusting to having people back inside.
“All the tables in the dining room and here in the lounge are spaced out,” said Chase.
There’s also a tent outside, to offset some of the seating loss on the inside. At places like High Tide Restaurant and Bar in Brewer, customers can expect to take advantage of the outdoor seating area that already exists.
“We’re going to be extending the outdoor seating,” said High Tide Restaurant and Bar Manager Kelly Bazmpa. “In a few days we’re going to be doing some roping off on the lawn and doing the picnic tables like that so you’ll have more choices for outside.”
The inside will also be open to customers with socially-distanced tables, and no more than eight people at each table.
Despite the new changes, employees are keeping positive.
“We are adapting and changing and you know, it’s new for us so we’re just trying our best to have an easy flow restaurant but also have that at-home feel too,” said Bazmpa.
Androscoggin, Cumberland and York Counties are the only counties in Maine that aren’t allowed to reopen to dine-in customers yet. There’s no word on when that might change.