Come on in and sit right down… Local restaurants reopen doors to serve dine-in customers 

Published 5:07 pm Monday, April 27, 2020

For the first time in several weeks, locally owned City Market was able to serve customers who wanted to come in and take advantage of any of the tasty options while dining in offered by owner Jennifer Hughes and her crew howbeit with tables spaced quite a bit further apart and with only 24 guests allowed to dine in at a time.
With Governor Bill Lee’s first phase of reopening the State of Tennessee economy beginning on Monday, local restaurants that chose to could allow up to 50 percent of their eatery’s capacity for customers to come and dine in with several regulations to follow mandated by the CDC and Lee’s task force.
Hughes said that even with the opportunity to come in and dine that many still have apprehensions about doing so.
“We have had customers call and tell us they are coming which is good you know,” Hughes said from behind her mask on Monday. “I think that people are still a little afraid to get out.
“I feel like where the governor did open up for 50 percent dining and with Carter County getting more cases over the weekend I felt like that hurt as well.”
Hughes said that she and her staff are doing everything they possibly can to make for safe dining for their customers.
“We are doing everything that is possible to protect my customers,” Hughes stated. “I have a hospital-grade spray for cleaning the tables that I am using.”
Like many other local restaurants, City Market has worked through the pandemic to continue to stay in operation by offering curbside service and delivery locally in the city.
The ability to do so has been a lifeline that Hughes is so thankful to have had.
“I have been so blessed, Hughes added. “I can’t thank the customers enough.”
The one thing that is concerning is that with many meat processors like Tyson Food’s having to shut down to the COVID-19 running rampant through their employees, business owners like Hughes in the near future may be looking at a higher cost on the products they use to make the food they serve.
“My big seller is chicken salad and I definitely feel like we will see an increase in poultry,” Hughes said. “I feel like this may last all summer with the social distancing because that is what the news is projecting. This may be a way of life for us for a while – you just don’t know.”
Hughes said that she did believe that Governor Lee made the right call saying, ” Being a business owner I don’t think it was too soon because I feel like we are not made to sustain this way in my opinion. I feel like we have to do everything we can as far as the handwashing goes and wearing the mask to do our part to help.
“If you do all you can, then that’s all you can do.”

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