Opening day jitters for owners as indoor nightlife opens up


ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Bars and restaurants are now allowed to let guests dine and drink inside. This is the first time guests have been allowed inside establishments since the state-wide shut down.

“It feels good. It feels good for everybody I think,” said owner of Yono’s Dominick Purnomo.

On Wednesday, Purnomo opened his restaurant and bar for the first time since March. Purnomo opted out of doing the take-out and delivery option restaurants were granted by the state.

“If there’s a full second wave in the fall and restaurants are forced to close it would be catastrophic for the entire industry and I’m not just talking about our restaurant,” Purnomo said.

There’s opening day jitters for Purnomo and Tess Collins at the neighboring McGeary’s. The concern is not only for a second wave of the virus, but making sure guests are complying with the state guidelines for reopening.

Non-compliance could lose businesses their liquor licenses and an up to $10,000 fine.

“I don’t feel relief. I just feel I’m doing everything right. I don’t want to open too quickly because I want to make sure we’re trained and we’re doing everything the proper way,” Collins said.

For Collins, that means not only making sure her staff is in compliance, but her guests as well. Guests must wear masks when they’re not at a table.

“People when they start to give me a hard time about wearing a mask and they don’t have one, I just hand them one,” Collins said.

On Wednesday, COVID-19 infection and hospitalization rates had its lowest numbers across the state since the beginning of the pandemic. If these numbers continue to go down, that could mean increased capacity for restaurants which are currently set at 50 percent.

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