Customers enjoy first dining experience since pandemic began

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) — It’s a day many people have been waiting for, even with restrictions.

Restaurants reopening is a sign the economy may truly be reopening.

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Not only was it a big day for restaurants but we found it also may have been just as big a day for customers.

“It’s a big deal for us. It’s a big deal for everybody in the community. It’s a big day,” says Jay Osborne, a regular at Double Dogs in Lexington.

Sitting down at a restaurant, enjoying a hot meal, having an ice cold drink on a pretty day.. something Kentuckians have missed since the middle of March.

“It was interesting like walking through the door was just a sense of relief. It’s a cool feeling to be out and about seeing people again,” says Osborne.

“It’s just nice to get out and see your friends and have that social interaction. Everyone needs it,” says customer Jason Goodpastor.

The pandemic has hit the restaurant industry hard. Double Dogs has felt that.

“We would just drive by and look and try to see hopefully that they were getting plenty of curbside business cause I mean it really has been awful for people,” says customer Shannon Dorconley.

Thankfully, the restaurant was able to bring back all its employees.

“It feels good to get back to somewhat of a normal business,” says general manager Jimmy Woodward.

Restaurant staff are wearing masks and gloves, getting temperatures checked upon arrival, keeping everyone as safe as they can.

“We’ll have a manager at the front door counting and making sure we don’t exceed our capacity,” says Woodward.

Some customers said that was a concern but it didn’t stop them from at least trying.

“I would’ve gotten takeout and sat in the bed of my truck and just watched. I would’ve had no problem just looking at it from the bed of my truck. We actually planned that out if there was a line we were gonna get takeout and just sit and look at it,” laughs Osborne.

Like most restaurants, it was a search for normalcy on the first day. Even pets were welcome.

‘We’ve got the TV’s on and there may not be live sports going on but there’s plenty of reruns,” says Woodward.

It was a day worth celebrating.

“Not that I’ve been counting but nine weeks and three days. It’s nice to get back to some kind of normalcy,” says Osborne and Goodpastor.

The restaurant said it was pleased with the first day and it expects to get busier and busier. That would be good, all things considered.

The restaurant is located on Justice Drive and is open Monday through Saturday 11 am-9 pm, and Sunday 12 pm-8 pm.

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