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Phase Two of reopening begins for most of Virginia

Some Virginia Beach restaurants welcome indoor seating as part of Phase Two, while others will wait.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Hampton Roads restaurant owners have mixed emotions over Phase Two of Virginia re-opening.

IL Giardino Ristorante will allow people to sit inside their Oceanfront location. Their other restaurant is still temporarily closed.

Floor manager James Polhemus is getting ready.

“We’re excited because we have an opportunity now where we can at least keep our staff employed, keep them making money bring a few more people back that are currently on unemployment,” Polhemus said.

As a part of Phase Two's restrictions, tables inside must be spread out six feet apart and the restaurant can only have 50 percent occupancy.

“We’ve taken about half of our tables out. We’re down from 220 seating capacity to about 110-108,” said Polhemus.

Kevin Ordonez owns two smaller restaurants: Alkaline in Norfolk and Baby Izakaya in Virginia Beach.

“Operating at a 50 percent kind of like capacity... is kind of a death sentence for my restaurants,” said Ordonez.

Ordonez doesn’t plan to open his doors for Phase Two. He’s waiting for COVID-19 cases to go down.

“The main reason is, I don’t think it’s time yet. I don’t think it’s safe enough yet,” said Ordonez.

Restaurant owners will have put up signs reminding customers of the CDC guidelines.

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