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Kentucky restaurants reopen dining rooms under Phase II

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PADUCAH (WSIL) -- As Kentucky moves forward to reopen its economy, city leaders, business owners and residents in Paducah are optimistic on the timing as they work together to help in the recovery.

Doe's Eat Place owner Paul Signa said he and his staff are ready to seat diners again. "Glad to get back. Glad the public is getting back out, the consumer gets to enjoy themselves again, and we're ready for things to kind of loosen up a little bit. Hope everybody is ready."

Doe's was able to stay open with carry out through an otherwise shutdown, but that time allowed him to finish a few renovation projects and now, they are filling up with reservations.

"Looking forward to those customers coming in, also walk-ins too," said Signa. "So I think, not only myself but other restaurants downtown too, we're ready man.

Under Phase Two of Kentucky's reopening plan, restaurants are allowed to resume seating diners inside at 33% capacity, with unlimited outdoor seating if social distancing guidelines are met.

"It's a challenge for a restaurant to only open up at 33%, but by helping them to overflow in to outside and have outdoor seating will help them to get to the next part," said Paducah Area Chamber of Commerce President Sandra Wilson. The city is working with restaurants to help boost foot traffic. They closed off streets on Market Square to vehicles for Memorial Day weekend, and moved tables from Noble Park to fill those streets with more outdoor dining.

"Getting our restaurants back open and this week getting retail open, getting some of our parks back open, (it) just really sends a message; We're open," said Wilson.

Businesses are working under the conditions of following the state's social distancing guidelines, which are based on the CDC recommendations. Doe's Eat Place owner is hopeful by the community working together to follow those guidelines, the next phase in opening up further is possible.

"There are a lot of things that we don't know that will happen, but we have to enjoy this weekend," said Signa, adding, "Have a good time this weekend, and the next couple days, and go from there."

Joe Rehana

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