Restaurants cautiously excited about in-person dining

In just two weeks the patio area at Goodfella's distillery district location in Lexington won't be empty. Beginning May 22, restaurants will be open to in-person dining at a limited capacity of 33 pecent.

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LEXINGTON, KY (WTVQ) – In just two weeks the patio area at Goodfella’s distillery district location in Lexington won’t be empty. Beginning May 22, restaurants will be open to in-person dining at a limited capacity of 33 percent.

“We are super excited. We’re glad that we’re finally getting back to business, even if it is at reduced capacity,” said Owner Alex Coats. “We can accommodate quite a bit of people and will keep them spaced out even further if we have to.”

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Coats said they’ll have more staff to make sure there’s a safe distance between groups and that tables and chairs are cleaned. However, a limited capacity might make it too costly.

“We will be trying it out, but we don’t know if that’s how we’ll function. It might be more financially beneficial to keep a carry-out,” said Coats.

It’s a challenge Coats said other restaurants are facing as well.

“We’re kind of all on the same playing field, sharing information back and forth, whether its finance or safety issues,” said Coats. “We assess the situation one week at a time and we just change gears on how we need to go.”

A shift back to carry-out only wouldn’t mean having to let go of staff members. Coats said their staff will continue to have hours made available to them. For those staff members, who have decided to stay home during all of this, Coats said they’ll be happy to have them back, when they’re ready.

“For the most part the staff has been there. Our staff is great,” said Coats. “They’re doing it day after day. They’re ready to get back to business.”

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Austin Miller joins ABC 36 Sports Team as a Sports Reporter and Weekend Anchor. Austin is from the Louisville area and graduated from St. Xavier High School in 2008. Austin graduated from Indiana University with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and a second concentration in German. While at IU, Austin was a blogger at Kentsterling.com and co-host, producer and engineer for WIUX, the school’s student radio station. Before coming to ABC 36, Austin was a news videographer at WLFI in West Lafayette from 2012-2015. While working with WLFI, Austin had the chance to cover the Purdue Boilermakers. He then accepted a Sports/New Reporter position at Local 4 KSNB-TV in Hastings Nebraska and was eventually promoted to sports full-time as the Weekend Sports Anchor/Reporter. While at KSNB-TV, Austin covered the University of Nebraska, the University of Nebraska-Kearney and Hastings College. After spending nearly six years away from home, Austin is excited to return to the Bluegrass State to cover the teams he grew up watching. In his spare time, Austin enjoys playing basketball, working out and cooking. If you have any story ideas or would like to say “Hello,” you can reach Austin by email at amiller@wtvq.com or direct message him on Twitter @AustinMillerTV.