Indoor dining to return at Vermont restaurants this week


Starting Monday, restaurants in Vermont can once again open their doors for eat-in customers.

Under new rules announced Friday by Gov. Phil Scott, restaurants must limit occupancy at any one time to 25 percent of capacity and tables must be set up to keep diners six feet apart.

“One of the many things Vermont is known for is local food and craft brews,” said Scott. “So I know how important this sector is to the economy.”

David Melincoff, the owner of Sweetwaters, says he is excited about this next step.

“It seems like it is a natural extension to slowly start to open up the restaurants more. as the governor says we turn that spigot a quarter turn and come inside,” he said. “Make sure that we are safe and we can do it right and that the guests feel comfortable here.”

Church Street Tavern’s Mychaella Devaney says she’ll examine the guidelines closely before welcoming dine-in customers Monday. “It is really important to us that we do work very specifically within those guidelines because it is a big change for us,” Devaney said.

She said 25 percent of the capacity in Church Street Tavern would be about 20 twenty people. “But then you have to factor in staff,” she said, “so it ends up being a little bit less than that. I think that is what we are looking at”

According to the guidelines, restaurants must have throw away or electronic menus, and bar seating must remain closed. The new guidelines also do not apply to breweries, wineries and distilleries, which must continue to serve their customers outside.

Scott said this next step will further re-open the economy while protecting the public,

“It is nice to have Vermonters being able to serve Vermonters again,” he said.

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