BROOKINGS, S.D. (KELO) – Public universities in South Dakota started classes again on Wednesday, meaning tonight kicks off the first full weekend of students possibly going downtown in their college towns.
Bars and restaurants across the country are making big changes to safely serve customers during the pandemic.
“As part of our COVID preparation, we actually took down an entire wall to give them a new part of a dining area so people could come and hang out and be able to spread out and be able to adhere to that distance guideline,” Seth Koch, a founder of Wooden Legs Brewing Company, said.
Wooden Legs Brewing Company in Brookings has also started online ordering options, reduced the use of physical menus and reimagined some of the events they host.
It’s one of many Brookings businesses that look a little different now.
“I know that we have seen an uptick in some of the restaurants and bars and our hope is that we continue to see that but then offer services in safe manner,” Paul Briseno, Brookings City Manager, said.
People heading out this weekend can expect to see fewer people in businesses at once, employees in masks and tables spaced out.
“I think most of our businesses are well-prepared. At least we’ve had about three to four good months to prepare for our residents to come back. That’s of course our SDSU student residents. We encourage them and are excited to have them back here in the community but encourage them to offer safe practices such as wearing masks, not only on campus, but off campus as well. If they can’t, then encouraging that social distancing of six feet and of course good hygiene habits as well,” Briseno said.
Koch says they are ready to welcome students back through their doors.
“I think it’s going to be a good weekend, I think it’s going to be a good semester. We found some new ways to do old things, so I think as the semester goes through, we’ll adapt and make sure our guests get the best experience they can,” Koch said.
The City of Brookings is operating in phase three of a city ordinance passed at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. If needed, the city manager says they can quickly transition to a higher or lower phase