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Outside dining breathes new life into local businesses

Posted at 10:18 PM, May 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-29 23:16:54-04

MIDDLE RIVER, Md. — Full tables of eager customers flocked to restaurants all over the state Friday night at 5 o’clock.

Sunset Cove is an outdoor dining experience that’s been heavily watered down by coronavirus.

“It was hard to come out here and see really nice weather and not be open, so this means everything,” General Manager, Nicole Massoni said.

Around 700 email reservations poured in the day between the governors announcement and their first customer.

Samantha Tare and her family were some of the first people to dine out.

“45 days all we’ve been doing is wanting to get out and socialize with friends and family,” Tare said. “Bring our daughter out to actually interact with people.”

It was a quick but welcome turnaround getting ready to open and training the staff on the new protocols.

“When somebody’s done eating we have to totally sanitize the table, the chairs, we don’t have our caddies we’d normally have,” Manager Chuck Michael said. “We have packets, you don’t get a bottle of ketchup you get a packet of ketchup. You don’t get salt and pepper shakers you get salt and pepper in packets.”

Loyal customers helped keep them afloat with carry out.

“Not to say we weren’t grateful for the support because of course we were, but it doesn’t even compare to what we are able to do with this area here,” Massoni said.

Much of the staff was on unemployment.

“We we’re lucky to have some that stayed with us and worked through the carry out and delivery and made a little bit of money to keep them going, but nothing like they are used to making,” said Massoni.

Hoping they can recoup their losses as the sunsets filled with people continue to grow.

To make a reservation, click here.