CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - On Friday, restaurants across central Virginia have the freedom to open their outdoor seating to half capacity, but some Charlottesville restaurants think it is far too soon.
“We don’t think it’s the safest thing for our staff or for our customers and this is just our best way to serve the community,” Lampo Owner/Chef Mitchell Beerens said.
Although Governor Ralph Northam gave restaurants the green light to partially reopen outdoor seating on May 15, Lampo and Mas Tapas made the tough decision to hold off.
“We want to do this socially responsible thing, keep everybody safe," Mas Tapas General Manager Giles Flowers said. "Right now, we still think that it’s a little too soon.”
Lampo says they do not want to reopen until there is a significant decline in case numbers and more access to testing.
“We’re trying to listen to the CDC and take their advice and make our own informed decisions based on that,” Beerens said.
Both Mas and Lampo still plan to satisfy the appetite of every Charlottesville foodie. “The best way we can do that right now is through contact-less takeout,” Beerens said.
“That’s going to be the most responsible thing that we can do to keep our staff and the public safe and healthy,” Flowers added.
Mas is in the works of potentially launching a reservation system.
“If we can move to reservations and do so in an orderly manner where we’re limiting the number of guests and being socially six feet separate from one another, then I’m hoping that by the beginning of June, we should be able to reopen our patio,” Flowers said.
They both say there is nothing they want more than to be back at full service again.
“Obviously we want to get back to 100%” Flowers said.
“We just miss all of our customers and our goal is to be an amenity to the community and get people in here as soon as we can," Beerens said. "But we’re just not willing to do it until we know it’s safe for everybody.”
Other establishments like Brazos Tacos, Champion Brewing, and The Pie Chest made the same decision to opt-out of Phase 1 and avoid outdoor seating as well.