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Restaurants: We're open, like for real

"It's like Christmas."
'80s Dress-up brunch at Avocado Grill
Posted at 9:48 PM, May 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-09 12:47:35-04

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — Gov. Ron DeSantis said this afternoon that restaurants can open up to 25% capacity starting on Monday, in addition to keeping tables six-feet apart.

Now, not all restaurants are opening on Monday. Some need extra time to prepare, and some are unfortunately going out of business.

"I was with my partner Rocco and we were sitting on the edge of our seats,” said Tod Herbst co-owner of restaurants like Rocco’s Tacos, City Oyster, Grease Burger and more.

He was waiting to hear these words from Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, "We've also expanded the ability of restaurants."

Herbst said the anticipation was stressful, "It was like election night or the end of a close Super Bowl."

Emotions are running the gamut from Palm Beach County restaurant owners.

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SPECIAL COVERAGE: Coronavirus | The Rebound South Florida | We're Open South Florida

Julien Gremaud of Avocado Grill Restaurants, said, "The girl who broke the news, everyone was like (screaming) YEAHHHHH!"

Cleve Mash from PapiChulo Tacos in Jupiter said, "It's like Christmas."

Jimmy Everett from Driftwood in Boynton Beach had more hesitation, "Whether the restrictions are lifted or not, is the business going to come?"

Emerson Frisbie of 3rd and 3rd Delray was a little more frustrated. "The issue that we are having is we don't have any outdoor seating," he said.

Which limits his ability to get more guests in the door.

On WPTV NewsChannel 5's Facebook page, some people expressed worry about going into public, and others were ready.

"People are becoming more comfortable with the idea of getting back out and being more social in society,” said Mash.

Mash said that's because restaurants are thinking about extra sanitary steps they can provide their guests.

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"Our job right now is simple. It's to make the customer feel as comfortable as possible," said, Chef Erik Petterson of Evo Italian in Tequesta.

"We went in and installed ultraviolet light for our AC system," said Mash.

"An online ordering system so that we could have contactless ordering with our customers," said Laura Olsson of Johan's Joe in West Palm Beach.

"A dispenser outside the front door, so nobody has to touch the front door handle dirty," said Petterson.

The business owners are thankful for the loyal customers who ordered pickup and delivery over the last seven weeks.

"You feel like you want to do better for them... I'm just so grateful for them,” said Audrey Farrelly of Serenity Garden Tea House & Café in West Palm Beach

Many of the ten restaurants WPTV NewsChannel 5 talked to Friday afternoon said they took the last seven weeks to make improvements, so on Monday, they'd have makeovers to surprise their guests.

To find out what's open near you, click here.