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Some Central Florida Restaurant Owners Say It's Not Necessarily 'Back to Business as Usual' on Monday

Photo: Juan Manuel Nunez Mendez
Photo: Juan Manuel Nunez Mendez

Restaurants will be allowed to open at 25 percent of their occupancy starting on Monday under Governor Ron DeSantis’ phase one recovery plan. 

But not all Central Florida restaurants will open their doors to the public that day. 

Alexandria Restaurant Partners Dave Nicholas says they won’t open until May 8 and even then it will just be for pickup at their Tu Tu Tango location on I-Drive.

“We’re not in a rush. We’re in a rush to get back to normal but we’re not in a rush to do it halfway and jeopardize going backwards.”

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He says if they reopened their dining room they’d only be allowed to serve 50 customers at a time anyway.

“We’re not sure that that makes sense and we’re not sure we want to take the risk from a health standpoint.”

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Nicholas says he’s already ordered thousands of face masks, gloves and hand sanitizers and enforced an hourly hand washing rule for when they resume normal operations. 

He says he’s ready to get back to work to make sure his workers can survive. Many are struggling to get unemployment benefits through the DEO website. 

On Monday, he handed out more than 90 free meals to workers from his restaurant kitchen as he couldn't give them paychecks.

If you'd like to listen to the story, click on the clips above.

Danielle Prieur is a general assignment reporter and fill-in host at WMFE.
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