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Restaurants reopening for dine-in today

ELKINS — For the first time in weeks, some local restaurants will be able to have customers dine-in today.

Many restaurants provided outdoor dining and take-out services during the COVID-19 pandemic, but now some local owners are ready to welcome dinners back while following safety guidelines from the state.

Scottie’s of Elkins has been providing meals for take-out, curbside pickup and outdoor dining, and has now made preparations to welcome customers back inside the restaurant today.

“We will be at 50 percent capacity and will still offer the outdoor dining and curbside pickup,” Elizabeth Bowers of Scottie’s said. “A lot of people are apprehensive about going out to eat.”

She said the staff will be wearing masks and they are eager to serve the public.

“We appreciate everyone supporting us like they have,” she said. “Everyone has been wonderful to us.”

She said Scottie’s will offer its full menu as well as two daily specials.

In downtown Elkins, Beander’s Restaurant & Tavern is taking steps to provide the safest dining experience possible.

Owner Desire Watson said the business will be operating with half of the normal seating and will limit the number of guests to six per table. She said the business will be using disposable dishware and paper menus.

“We will be seating guests to keep folks separated,” Watson said. “We purchased a fogging machine for disinfecting and we will do cleaning throughout the day, but we will use the machine to disinfect every night.”

Watson said the restaurant will not be taking reservations and hopes customers understand that their dining experience will be different during the pandemic.

“My big concern is that people need to be aware it is not going to be the same Beander’s,” she said. “You must order food for drinking. Customers can drink while waiting and during dinner. We are concerned people will be frustrated.”

She said Beander’s will be operating with a limited menu, no music or entertainment and no happy hour.

“We can not promote things where people would stay after eating,” she said. “We will have all of our appetizers, salads, burgers and half of our sandwiches. When we are able to get more (product) in we will offer more,” she said.

Watson said she is excited for people to come for food, but wants them to be aware of the situation.

“We have been here since 1992 and we are going to survive this,” she said. “It is going to be very important people understand they can’t socialize like we did in the past, people will have to stay at their tables.”

Watson said Beander’s will continue offering take-out services and curbside pickup.

The Steer Steakhouse along the Beverly Five-lane will be operating a little differently from normal. The restaurant sports a popular buffet, which will continue, but customers will not serve themselves.

“The big difference is people can still get buffet items, but the servers will have to plate it up and bring it to you,” owner Ralph Bennett said. “It will be difficult for a while.”

Bennett said seating will be reduced 50 percent, but the restaurant will still be able to seat 100 customers.

“We can use our silverware as long as it is wrapped,” Bennett said. “We will have the full menu available from the kitchen.”

Gov. Jim Justice has released guidelines for all restaurants to follow as they reopen.

The guidelines include limiting occupancy to 50 percent; patrons who do not reside together must be seated at least 6 feet apart; party sizes can not be more than six; not allowing patrons to gather in waiting areas; using a separate entrance and exit; and no live music is allowed.

Restaurants most also establish paths that mitigate proximity for patrons and staff; limit contact with guests by reducing staff visits to the table; implement reservations if possible; use non-touch or disposable menus; screen employees for COVID-19 symptoms; and temperature checks.

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