Governor Floats June 20th for Indoor Restaurant Seating

Some Owners Want Earlier Opening

Dave Mager
May 13, 2020 - 10:27 pm

As many restaurants prepare to reopen for outdoor seating next week, Gov. Lamont faces pressure from the industry to allow others to open for indoor seating earlier than planned.

For the first time, the governor says indoor seating could open by June 20th. 150 business leaders have signed a letter asking for a June 3rd start.

Notes from the governor's Wednesday news briefing:

STATE SENATORS WHO RUN RESTAURANTS BACK THE GOVERNOR

Sen. Paul Formica (R/East Lyme), who owns Flanders Fish Market in East Lyme, and Sen. Christine Cohen (D/Guilford), who owns Cohen's Bagels in Madison, are backing the governor's gradual approach to opening the industry.

Formica: "The move to outside dining will be good for our customers to enjoy our products in a relaxed and safe environment. I have a deck and other outdoor space on our property to put tables out there. The forecast for the next 7 days, however, includes 4 days of rain. So, while this may be a prudent and measured start, there are many restaurants... that solely outside dining is not going to work for."

Cohen: "Customer comfort levels are going to be dependent on other patrons' behavior to an extent we haven't seen before... Now we also have to become extremely concerned with how other customers are behaving in terms of their own safety protocols. We just have not experienced anything like this before." 

WTIC AUDIO ON DEMAND EXTRA

In the attached audio at the top of this page, WTIC's Dave Mager speaks to Randy McNamara, CEO of Geno's Restaurant Group, owned by Geno Auriemma. McNamara says their new restaurant, Cafe Aura in Manchester, has no space for outdoor seating (restaurants can open on May 20th, but only for outdoor seating). He says restaurants should be able to open for indoor seating earlier than the date floated by Gov. Lamont, June 20th.

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--3,125 dead (+84)

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--142,943 (roughly 4.2% of state population) tested; (+4,122)