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.

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“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.

For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.

Rachel Menitoff

Comments (4)
  1. Venable family says:

    They need to remember the issue is people can’t eat while wearing masks. I am glad to buy take out, but no way I will risk COVID to eat out. The breeze is blowing and someone at the next table who has it coughs………you’re infected. No food is worth my life. Sorry, but it’s going to be that way. The virus will spike again, no cure no vaccine yet. Sell your best food in carry out where we can eat it at home or a safe distance from others.

  2. BG says:

    Then stay at home until someone you trust tells you life is safe again. Many establishments simply cannot make ends meet selling just carry-out. Many smaller places such as city bars/restaurants will also find that it is a huge ‘net-negative’ to open (thereby increasing costs to nearly normal levels) with only very, very limited bar/table capacity. Maybe instead we should treat adults like they ARE adult, capable of making their own decisions on whether or not to go. And please, spare us the lame ‘karen’ argument that our behavior MUST be controlled because you are scared. No one is forcing you to go anywhere.

  3. Kat says:

    I could not agree more with BG. If you are not comfortable going out, please stay home. The rest of us want to make our own decisions and not rely on the government to make decisions for us.

  4. DEY TOOK OUR JOBS says:

    DEY TOOK OUR INDOOR DINING!

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