As Morgantown watering holes begin to reopen, many are taking the necessary precautions to ensure safe environments for customers.
“It’s definitely getting back to normal compared to what it was a few weeks ago,” said Ashley Greene, bartender at Gene’s Beer Garden.
Gene’s Beer Garden, the oldest running bar in Morgantown, recently reopened its doors. Greene said business has been good since the bar reopened two weeks ago, but the capacity has been limited to 24 people at a time.
Though the location has been closed for a few months, this gave the beer garden time and opportunity to get a major project done.
“The one good thing that’s happened since we’ve closed down is that we’ve had a lot of renovations in our side room,” Greene said. “It looks really cool now and has a tin roof and chandelier.”
The bar is also open, but customers are asked to stay six feet apart when seated.
The Greene Turtle Sports Bar and Restaurant has also been open for two weeks. General Manager Kerri Campbell said business is booming, with customers coming in from West Virginia and Pennsylvania. She said many Pennsylvanians are driving over to eat due to indoor seating still being closed in the state.
“I think they’re getting really claustrophobic sitting in their house, especially during Memorial Day weekend where people wanted to do something,” Campbell said. “They were able to enjoy the sunshine, have a cocktail and have a nice dinner.”
Many customers came during the holiday weekend, with Campbell saying some customers were so eager to eat that they were willing to sit through a long wait time before being seated.
Campbell also said the restaurant has had a few hiccups with larger parties not wanting to separate but, overall, they are pleased with how it is going and are optimistic about the future of the restaurant.
The interior of The Greene Turtle has also been rearranged, so customers ready to return to their favorite place will have a different, but safer place to eat. Campbell said the space between guests is expected to be a major change in restaurants following the coronavirus pandemic.
“When the governor stated we had to go to 50% capacity, we eliminated all of our bar seats and then 50% of our tables,” Campbell said. “We didn’t want it to look trashy.”
Night clubs are now also open, such as Joe Mamas and Code, with more expected to follow within the next few weeks.