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REOPENING DAY

Local bars, restaurants, casinos take varying approaches as Monday reopening draws near
By 
Ryan Peerboom — Enterprise Staff Writer
Friday, May 1, 2020
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Enterprise photo by Nate Howard

Michelle Jasem, the General Manager at Montana’s Rib & Chop House in Livingston, vacuums the floor Friday in preparation for opening for business on Monday.

Livingston is ready to open again.

Local bars, restaurants and casinos have the option to open soon as the state of Montana lifts its regulations regarding non-essential business closures brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

足球滚球比分Restaurants and bars will be allowed to open on Monday for dine-in services after being relegated to take-out only due to the regulations. 

足球滚球比分The businesses are allowed to operate with new regulations in place as step one of Gov. Steve Bullock’s plan for reopening the state goes into effect on Monday.

Rib & Chop House plans to open on Monday, barring any unforeseen changes, according to General Manager Michelle Jasem.

In accordance with opening regulations, Rib & Chop House will limit seating capacity to 50 percent by leaving an empty table between customers, Jasem said. There will also be no bar seating. 

足球滚球比分“We’re going to accommodate as many customers as we can, given the circumstances, Jasem said. 

Walk-ins will be allowed, but they will be asked to wait in their cars or at a safe distance outside the restaurant. 

足球滚球比分Rib & Chop House also hired a sanitarian to ensure the cleanliness of the restaurant, Jasem said. Only one person will handle food coming through the kitchen door. 

Rib & Chop House took advantage of the closure to improve its dining experience for customers. In addition to deep-cleaning the restaurant, Jasem said they also painted and added new decorations. The changes would’ve happened without the closure, but they were able to make them sooner because of it, Jasem said. 

Some restaurants plan to take a little more time to ensure a safe dining experience. 

Livingston Bar & Grille will wait until May 8 before opening its doors, according to the restaurant’s general manager, Eric Trapp. 

足球滚球比分Trapp said the restaurant decided to wait so customers can be confident in their safety while dining.

Seating at the Bar & Grille will be cut in half to ensure all customers are safely socially distanced, Trapp added. There will be no barstool seating.

Reservations will be staggered, which will allow the restaurant to control the flow of customers, Trapp said. The restaurant will also offer online services to ease the process. 

足球滚球比分“We have enabled online reservations and online ordering, which is new for us,” Trapp said.

Walk-ins will still be accepted if there is enough room. 

Livingston Bar & Grille is also developing a COVID response document that will detail the restaurant’s cleaning procedures, Trapp said. 

The restaurant will keep a daily log and take the temperature of employees as they arrive and check symptoms to ensure no employee is sick.

“Our goal is to lead the community in confidence,” Trapp said. 

足球滚球比分Trapp said he won’t speculate on how busy the restaurant will be, just that it will be prepared to accommodate a safe amount of business. 

The Stockman Bar also has the safety of its customers and employees in mind. According to Owner Mary Weamer, The Stockman will continue to offer take-out service only due to the limited amount of space available. 

“We’re just too close-quarters in there to go with 10 customers,” Weamer said. 

Weamer said she didn’t feel confident in the restaurant’s ability to provide customers with an opportunity to safely social distance from one another.

足球滚球比分“I would rather err on the side of caution,” Weamer said.  

Los Pinos is a peculiar case. The new Mexican restaurant opened on April 20 amid the pandemic. Los Pinos has been able to offer only take-out orders due to coronavirus regulations, according to co-owner Christian Ramirez.  

Due to the unique circumstances surrounding the restaurant’s opening, Ramirez said the restaurant plans to continue with take-out only orders for at least another week.

When the restaurant does open for dine-in eating, it will close off some tables to allow for proper social distancing, Ramirez said. 

Casinos will also be allowed to open on Monday. Jerry Graybill, owner of the Hideout and Crown Room casinos, said they are prepared to safely operate business. 

The bars at the casinos will be open, but seating will not be offered.

“People will not be allowed to sit at the bar and linger,” Graybill said.

Additionally, fewer machines will be available for use. Each machine will be disinfected between uses before another person is allowed to use it, Graybill said. 

Anyone who appears to be sick will be asked to leave. Family members from the same household will be allowed to sit next to each other, but other customers will have to remain at least 6 feet apart, Graybill said. 

足球滚球比分Graybill expects people to be cautious, but he also expects there will be a good number of people who are ready to get out of their house. 

“I think people have kind of got a little cabin fever,” he said. “They’ll like to get out.”