WHITTINGTON (WSIL) -- Many of us are excited to once again be able to dine at some of our favorite restaurants. Of course, right now we have to enjoy our food outside.
But restaurant owners are also anticipating having customers stay for their meals like the owner of Tino's on the Tee, Anthony Heinrich.
Tino's on the Tee is at the Rend Lake Golf Course and provides refreshments and food to golfers like steak, pasta and burgers. It also acts as a banquet space for weddings, class reunions and golf tournaments.
Heinrich says the transition from large-scale events to curbside was not easy following the state's mandate that forbade restaurant and bars to provide dine-in service.
"It was disheartening here and there," he explains. "But, we have taken on the challenge and we've came through it."
Not only did the restaurant stay open but they also gave back to the community providing around 600 meals to seniors in need with no questions asked.
Now later this afternoon, Tino's on the Tee will reopen its outdoor dining.
In preparation, Heinrich and his employees spaced out tables 6 feet apart, did mosquito treatments, put up Citronella tiki torches and installed new lighting.
"We can't control the outside, but we're going to our best to make it as comfortable as possible," he promises.
In addition to that, employees will be held to safety and health protocols.
"Anytime they come outside to be in contact with any of our patrons, they will have face covering on," Heinrich explains.
Another state requirement is that restaurants can not have tables of more than six patrons. If a party is more than six people, they would have to sit at separate tables.
"We're going by what the governor and the state tells us to do," he adds. "These aren't are rules, we're just following the rules that are given to us."
However, Heinrich does ask a few things out of visitors to his restaurants and all the other small businesses beginning to reopen.
"Allow us to make mistakes, mistakes are going to happen," he explains. "But allow us to work through them together."
Heinrich also requests diners to understand that the shortage on meats also affects restaurants like it does individual consumers.
"If you come out on Saturday, Sunday and we happen to be out of cheeseburgers or steaks, give us another shot," he requests. "Give us another shot. It's because we've ordered all we could and they're gone."
But overall, he just Heinrich just wants visitors to come out and enjoy themselves.
Tino's on the Tee will be open for Thursday-Sunday for lunch from 11 a.m to 1 p.m. and reopen from dinner at 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
12476 Golf Course Dr