Monroe County yellow zone restaurants urge compliance to avoid shutdowns


GREECE, N.Y. (WROC) — Parts of Monroe County are officially in a yellow zone, and local restaurants are putting the new restrictions in place. There are a couple of new rules restaurants have to follow: closing by midnight each night, and only seating a maximum of four people at each table.

Robbie Tennant owns Robbie’s Bar & Grill in Greece. She said she already has to constantly remind customers to wear a mask, socially distance, and stay seated and she’s worried the new four-person seating rule is going to cause more trouble.

“What do you do if a family of five comes in? They have three children, they can’t sit together? No longer can they go out to dinner? All we can do is split the families up and put them at two tables, six feet apart. That’s all we can do, and I have to constantly remind people these aren’t our rules,” said Tennant.

She’s just getting back on her feet from the shutdown back in March, and said she’s doing okay for now. But if the positivity rate continues to go up, the orange zone designation would mean outdoor dining and takeout only. The red zone changes rules to takeout only.

“If we get to orange I have no idea what I’ll do if I’ll even stay open. We do have rent that we’d still have to pay whether we shut down or not but mentally I don’t think I have it in me to do it all over again,” Tennant said.

Rochester Chamber of Commerce President Bob Duffy said we will likely stay in the yellow zone through November but hopes to be out of it by December. He said regardless of the zones, with the weather getting colder, restaurants are still struggling.

“A lot of restaurants, their whole economic success really depends on filling those seats those tables,” Duffy said.

Tennant’s situation is unique because her restaurant mailing address is in Hilton, which isn’t listed in the yellow zone, but the restaurant is physically in Greece which is in the yellow zone. She’s not taking any chances and is following the yellow zone rules.

Also in yellow zone restrictions is 25 people at gatherings, 50% capacity at places of worship, and 20% of students and teachers to be tested weekly in schools.

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