PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — Restaurants in Palm Beach County that had to close their doors for the last seven weeks, except for takeout and delivery, are reopening Monday to 25 percent capacity.
"We've been hoping and expecting this day for quite some time," Said Todd Herbst operator of Rocco’s Tacos, and other Palm Beach Country restaurants.
"We're just so happy that this is the first step to coming back," said server Elissa Dunn from Death or Glory in Delray Beach.
"Takin' some hard phone calls. People who are really struggling, and need to get back to work, and not being able to do that for them hits your heart pretty hard," said Tommy Nevill chef/owner of III Forks restaurant and steakhouse in Palm Beach Gardens.
"We are going to follow the rules and have 25%," said Alex Awad owner of West Palm Beach’s Leila Restaurant.
"We're just happy to be at 25% occupancy at this point because you know, take out has been great, the community has really done a great job at supporting us. For us to utilize the outside space to welcome back our guest and our friends, we're excited,” said Cleve Mash co-owner of PapiChulo Tacos in Jupiter.
Each owner knows the reality that they have something to prove.
"It's to make the customer feel as comfortable as possible," said Chef Erik Petterson, owner of Evo Italian in Tequesta
Chef/owner Julien Gremaud of Avocado Grill restaurants agrees, “That we are going to maintain the best hygiene and cleanliness for the restaurant so that customers are comfortable coming back to us."
"If we show the state that they can trust us as restauranteurs, then they will start releasing [restrictions] more and more," said Petterson.
"I still have a little goose bumps knowing that we're going to get the doors back open, people back in here/back to work and really, really looking forward to getting these guys back in the building," said Nevill.
All the restaurants want you to know, "We're Open South Florida."
"And, we are just so happy we get to come back," said Dunn.