Restaurants Weigh Reopening Options

May 4, 2020, 6 p.m. ·


Starting today, restaurants in 59 Nebraska counties are allowed to open with certain restrictions in place.

Restaurants must operate at half capacity, tables must be at least six feet apart, and staff are required to wear masks. Parties will also be limited to six people or fewer.

Tamara Dean manages Shirley’s Diner in Omaha. The restaurant opened its dining area this morning.

“We’re just kind of anxious, nervous about how the public’s gonna react to it," Dean said. "You know, are they gonna come in and support us?”

Some restaurants received enough income from takeout to stay closed and have found routines that work.

Brandon Sperry owns Myrtle and Cypress Coffeehouse in Omaha. He’s sticking with takeout for now. He said he’s heard a lot of varied guidance on when to reopen.

“I feel like there’s a lot of trust being placed on the businesses to steward the health of both the employees and the customers,” Sperry said.

Sperry said he’ll look for decreases in COVID-19 cases before he reopens the restaurant.

Starting next Monday businesses in ten more Nebraska counties will be allowed to reopen.