EAST GREENWICH, R.I. (WPRI) — Crowds typically flock to restaurants near Rhode Island’s coast on Memorial Day, but it was a much different story this year.
Not only was it a cloudy and drizzly day at the two state beaches that were open, but many businesses are still adjusting to new safety guidelines put in place due to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
In East Greenwich, some restaurants have welcomed back patrons for outdoor dining over the past week while others were forced to shut down for good.
The Patio on Main had been open for just a month before the pandemic caused statewide closures, according to owner Angel Winpenny. The restaurant has been offering takeout and delivery for the past two months and opened its patio for outdoor dining on Friday.
“The safety department, they came here and went over things with us,” Winpenny said Monday. “They went over the protocols.”
The tables are spaced eight feet apart, cleaned and disinfected after each use, and the staff has to wear masks at all times.
Not all restaurants were able to make the same accommodations, however. Just next door, Red Stripe chose not to reopen its location there, Winpenny said.
“Sad for us because we want to see everyone succeed,” she added. “We all are a team together, we do all rely on each other, and so it’s really unfortunate that they are struggling during this time.”
Winpenny said it hasn’t been as busy a weekend as would be expected during a typical year, but her guests were appreciative of the outdoor dining option.
“We’re slowly getting back to how things were before,” she said.
Winpenny noted that The Patio on Main is still offering takeout and delivery for customers who don’t want to dine outdoors. The restaurant’s menu is available on DoorDash and Grubhub.
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