WALTHAM (CBS) – Restaurants in Massachusetts are pulling up more seats to the table.
Beginning Monday, eateries will be able to expand seating from six to 10 people per table under Governor Charlie Baker’s latest guidelines.
“We’ll take anything we can get right now,” said Jeff Abellard, owner of Bistro781 in Waltham. “Honestly, if people come in with a table of seven, it can get a little awkward sometimes. A party of eight, even.”
It’s a welcomed change for restaurant owners, but some patrons are still worried about the coronavirus risk.
“10 feels like a lot. That seems like that’s too many,” said Maya Bress. “I’m still concerned about exposure.”
Restaurants aren’t going to look much different because tables still have to be spaced six feet apart, but Abellard said the real difference will be the on business.
“Now, we can actually conserve more tables so we can put more people at one table and have another table open for another party,” he said.
The latest changes will also pave the way for bar seating. Patrons won’t be able to stand at the bar, drinking and watching the game, but restaurants can begin utilizing the space to serve food beginning Monday.
It’s a sigh of relief for the staff at Brelundi Restaurant in Waltham, a popular spot for graduations and celebrations.
“For the big holidays – yes, it definitely puts our minds at ease to be allowed to have those big families coming,” said Brelundi’s general manager Hayden Bluhm.
Some cities like Boston, Framingham and Worcester are holding off on expanding seats until the COVID-19 numbers go down.
One patron says she’s still cautious, but her concern isn’t about party size.
“I guess outside I feel okay, as long as tables are fart apart from each other, but I don’t feel comfortable eating inside,” said Anne Moore.