SALEM, N.H. (CBS) — Tables, tents, and a tape measure. Starting Monday, New Hampshire restaurants will be able to offer outdoor seating under a new set of guidelines.
“Tables are all spaced six feet apart. We do have a bar out there but no seats at the bar,” explained Joe Faro, the founder and CEO of Tuscan Brands. “Outdoor dining which we have done. We have a tent for the weather but no sides so the wind can blow through it.”
Employees must wear face masks or coverings and guests will be able to sit outside as long as there is space between parties.
Many restaurants are rushing to make the proper adjustments.
“We’ve hired additional food runners and carts and covers and we are ready to go we are locked and loaded. Heaters all that stuff,” Faro said.
Customers are asked to wear masks as they enter and exit the property, and if they go inside to use restrooms.
The sit-down dining option is bringing some life back to downtown Portsmouth.
“It’s good to have hot, fresh, restaurant food again,” said Jenna Raposa. The reopening came just in time for her birthday celebration.
“I think people are relatively cautious right now,” said Portsmouth resident Bill Downey.
River House owner Peter Labire said the restaurant is running at 40% capacity, have tables six feet apart, and are cleaning nonstop.
“We’re apprehensively excited. You know obviously it’s a lot of new guidelines,” said Labire. “We’re going to be ready to shift as things change and if somebody has a concern we’re going to try and address them one by one.”
“We want to be a part of the solution so we will do whatever we gotta do,” said Faro.
As of Sunday, 3,596 people in New Hampshire had tested positive for the coronavirus.