St. Louis County restauranteurs hopeful about reopening


CLAYTON, Mo. – The St. Louis County Department of Public Health could allow indoor dining starting Jan. 4. Barcelona owner Frank Schmitz is ready to have guests back in his building.

“We know we can’t live on 25 percent occupancy. We can’t live on take out. But at this point, we’ll take what we can get,” he said.

At present, Barcelona has outdoor and delivery available. But that could be changing very soon.

“At this point, I will take anything; 100 percent,” he said.

St. Louis County Executive Dr. Sam Page says if the number of daily new cases remains stable, the new limited reopening plan could include occupancy limits, a curfew, and social distancing. Schmitz says a reopen needs to happen.

“If he’s dragging it out—rightfully or wrongfully—until the 15th or the 31st, you will lose more restaurants over the winter that simply cannot survive this,” Schmitz said.

Schmitz says more business means more employees can return to work.

“It will give me two to four to five service staff, a couple of bartenders, and an extra few people in the kitchen,” he said.

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