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Restaurants and retailers begin to reopen Monday

Starting Monday, restaurants and retailers will be able to expand to capacity up to 50%, under phase 1 of the governor’s order.

Governor Ron DeSantis said Friday that positive cases, hospitalizations and deaths are down, and that it’s time to get back to some normal activities safely.

Not all restaurants will take part in expanding their indoor dining.

Maa Kitchen won’t be expanding, or even reopening their indoor dining.

They’re still sticking with only takeout and delivery, saying it’s not financial feasible for them to open up inside right now.

Maa Kitchen is known for it’s authentic Indian style buffet and dinners, but due to COVID-19, you can now only get lunch takeout on the weekends.

“We tried to do it Monday through Thursday and it wasn’t enough money,” said Sherry Day, who is the general manager of Maa Kitchen.

Day misses their customers, but said they just can’t afford to reopen their indoor dining right now.

“It’s not feasible because we have the buffet as you can see over here, and a lot of people don’t want to come for buffet right now, and at 50% with hiring everyone we just don’t think it would be enough money for us to keep it open at 50%. 75 to 100 I think would be the best,” said Day.

Just down the street, Empanadas Factory is preparing differently for Monday. It will expand to the 50% capacity and have already designated which tables are open for seating.

“I’ve set up over here at a table and we put clean menus and then not clean, so we clean all the time. We have sanitizers so we try to keep everything clean all the time,” said Fabrizio Rivero, the manager of Empanadas Factory. “We are very excited to open our doors, we’ve been missing everybody.”

Under phase 1, bar counters should remain closed and groups need to be capped at 10 people.