Some Omaha restaurants open dine-in areas to customers

Published: May. 4, 2020 at 5:47 PM CDT
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Several restaurants in Omaha opened their dining area, with several restrictions, to customers Monday.

"How many? Oh, there's two of you? Dining in? Okay, you're going to take them to table 11," Tony Caniglia, owner of 11-Worth Café said while talking with a customer.

Not too long after opening the table at his café began to fill.

Many customers were happy to return to eat inside.

"I missed the food immensely. I got the big breakfast which is mostly gone," Brian Fienhold said while dining in.

Caniglia appreciated the support he received from customers.

"Everybody's excited to see some of our regulars in our buildings. Very nice to see them," he said.

The café is just one of many to open their dining areas for the first time in several weeks.

"It's nice to get back to a little bit of a routine. And we're just trying to be safe while doing it," Caitlyn Hazel with JAMS Old Market said.

It's different than the normal experience. All staff is supposed to wear masks, and you cannot sit wherever you would like.

"Trying to keep that social distance out there. Making sure that it's viable to customers that you know every item that is touched by customers and staff are being wiped down continuously," Caniglia explained.

While some restaurants are operating at a 50% capacity others are still working on a plan to safely reopen. They're making sure the staff is on board.

"It's still a little difficult trying to get some of those people to come back because they want things to be 100%. Plus there's a little fear out there as well with the fact that things are not cleared up with this coronavirus," Rick Ledwich, owner of Zio's Pizzeria, said.

Whether the dining area is open or closed most restaurants will continue their carryout services. That is something many customers have relied on.

"I usually come all the time. When it was closed I'd sit out in my truck and eat my breakfast," a dine-in customer, Marvin Robinson said.

Zio's Pizzeria hopes to reopen their dining area within a week.

At the Yoshitomo in Benson, they're remaining closed. They are continuing their take-out and delivery options.

According to their Facebook, they feel their space is too small to properly social distance customers.