A lot of bars and restaurants in Sioux Falls are back open after the city lifted the tight restrictions that were put in place over a month ago to try and slow the spread of COVID-19.
Those that re-opened were busy welcoming back their loyal customers all weekend long.
Keeping his customers and staff safe is Gateway owner Jackson Rentschler’s top priority and that involves lots of cleaning.
“My hands hurt from cleaning and our girls are saying, ‘usually our feet hurt at the end of the night, now my hands hurt,” Rentschler said.
There are signs posted everywhere urging customers to social distance, but he says he had to remind a few, especially on Friday, the first day they were open.
“I think a lot of people shot their shot on Friday, they were just so excited to be back out and then on Sunday we had a good Mother’s Day crowd, people were able to bring their mom’s down and have lunch again,” Rentschler said.
Gateway has also gone to paper menus that can be thrown away rather than reused.
At Tinners, they’ve eliminated the menus and have gone to these bar codes, all you have to do is scan the bar code and the full menu pops up on your phone.
“I’d love to take credit for it, it’s something the owners came up with the idea, obviously menus are kind of like dirty money, everybody is touching them, you don’t know where they’ve been,” manager Vinnie Olson said.
At Tinners they also have hand sanitizer at each table and condiments are handed out by request.
Olson says the biggest problem he had wasn’t with customers, but rather his own staff.
“Keeping their masks on has proven to be a little a more work than I assumed it would be, people get really uncomfortable and want to take those off,” Olson said.
In all, both businesses say reopening was the right thing to do.
“Servers were really excited to be back, I was excited to be back, the customers, it was good to see them coming in, and for the most part it went really really well,” Rentschler said.
“It was pretty smooth sailing, we didn’t run into too many hiccups opening day, it was busy, but not uncontrollable,” Olson said.
Rentschler says his biggest complaint he had from customers was that they removed their popcorn machine.