ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Gov. Larry Hogan’s Phase Two of the Maryland Roadmap to Recovery Plan does not include the opening of indoor dining at restaurants, but they can continue to offer outdoor dining or curbside pick.
In Annapolis, Main street, Maryland avenue, West Street and Market Place were closed to cars so that people can dine outside and still practice social distancing.
“What you’re seeing right now has never happened in downtown Annapolis,” Brian Bolter, Co-Owner of Red Red Wine Bar, said.
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The Shoots family said this has been a long-time coming.
“First time we’ve been here in two months, so it feels like it’s brand new,” the family said.
Many people turned out to grab a bite to eat Wednesday, as they sat outside and enjoyed some live music. But restaurant owners said they want customers to keep in mind this only serves about 20 to 25 percent of its business.
“We were crushed today that the governor didn’t come out and give us limited capacity indoor seating,” Bolter said. “We all thought that was part of Phase Two.”
Bolter has been petitioning the City of Annapolis to allow for expanded outdoor dining for a month now.
Wednesday night was the trial run. Mayor of Annapolis Gavin Buckley said he’s open to continuing it.
“As we evolve the concept, it will change depending on what the business precincts think is working for them,” Mayor Buckley said.
Bolter said ultimately, if he can do 50 percent of his business outdoors and 50 percent indoors, he feels like he would be in good shape.
“All these people help us pay a little bit of our bills, help us bring back our staff, help us jump start our economy, help us get back to whatever the new normal is,” he said.
Many restaurant owners said they’ve been preparing to welcome a limited number of customers for indoor dining. So, as soon as the governor gives the go-ahead, they said they’re ready to move forward.