Hint of nightlife returns to St. Augustine as some restaurants reopen

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – For more than month, Friday night has been anything but a date night after the threat of COVID-19 forced restaurants in Florida to either close or go from being a dine-in location to a pick-up or delivery only.

But now that restaurants are back open in St. Johns County, folks in St. Augustine and beyond were making the most of it.

Slowly but surely, Downtown St. Augustine is beginning to look like the tourist area of old -- as more places open back up for business. At Nero’s Waterfront Café, both locals and tourists were more than happy to dine out for a change.

“It feels amazing," said Donna Quintard. "We’re so thankful that they’re open and we can get out. We’ve been ready.”

Jim and Nancy Kelly stopped in St. Augustine during their drive from Vero Beach on their way to Savannah.

“It feels fantastic because this weekend is our 40th anniversary and we didn’t think we would get to go anywhere," Nancy Kelly said.

Nero’s restaurant manager Melanie Sweda said she had some plexiglass partitions put in place to make patrons feel safe as they dined.

“I’m really happy with it," Sweda said. "Everyone thinks it looks good and it’s respecting social distancing, and everyone has their nice little own spot.”

Not every restaurant has reopened in St. Augustine since the order was lifted.

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