PERRYSBURG, Ohio — As inside service is set to open back up, many Ohio restaurants got their first taste of customers over the weekend.
Outdoor dining began Friday with social distancing guidelines in place.
Perrysburg restaurant owners said they had a good weekend but learned a few things as well.
John Luppino, general manager of Basil Pizza and Wine Bar in Levis Commons said the first few days with customers back has been great.
Capacity is limited and everyone is still getting used to the new safety guidelines.
"At full capacity, we have 14 tables," Luppino said. "We were able to seat six tables throughout the weekend and it worked out really well. The guests were very receptive came out."
Luppino noted he was also grateful to be able to welcome back almost all of their workers.
But not all businesses chose to reopen. Swig in uptown Perrysburg decided to wait until this week to reopen indoor and outdoor dining.
"We were not comfortable calling everyone one back," owner Tony Bilancini said. "And saying well here's masks, here's gloves, let's clean everything up, put dividers in, etc. until we were sure we could do right, do it right, do it once."
One of the biggest challenges, Bilancini said, is keeping guests away from other guests.
"It's like cheers, everyone knows your name you know," he said. "You're often time going hey how are you so and so or meeting new friends, so getting around that obstacle."
He added businesses could even put up signs discouraging that behavior and help to keep everyone safe.
The city of Perrysburg offers sidewalk permits traditionally to only restaurants for more outdoor dining seating. But Mayor Tom Mackin said that could extend to retail to help them out more.
"We anticipate that occurring, and when it does we will be mindful of the system that already in place but also be conscientious of making sure that local business has an opportunity to sell its products and reach out to customers," he said.
All businesses agree it's about gaining customers' trust back in this new normal of extra safety. And they said this first week was a good start.