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Helena restaurants prepare for possible opening

Posted at 5:51 PM, Apr 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-21 18:42:20-04

HELENA -- With the possibility of Governor Bullock's stay at home order being relaxed, restaurant staff and their patrons are licking their chops to get back to work and enjoy the fruits of that labor, but like day-old scrambled eggs, everyone is trying to proceed with caution.

Toby DeWolfe, owner of Bert and Ernie's, said he and his staff have taken this period to give things a nice polish, a new coat of paint, and to sterilize anything anyone can touch, but even if their dining room opens, there are somethings beyond their control.

“The food suppliers across the nation are being hit just as hard as we are with the supply and demand," said DeWolfe. "They're minimizing, like everybody else. We've cut our menu back, everybody has cut their menu back to the things that absolutely can sell, will sell, and are available to sell.“

For some restaurants that completely shut down when the stay at home order was put in place, the wait might be a little bit longer as they essentially have to re-open their entire restaurant. Steve Vincelli, owner of the Steve's Cafes in Helena, made the decision to completely shut down both locations to do some work inside the restaurants. Since neither restaurant has been serving food, they'll face the challenge of restocking their fridges which will add to the time it takes them to open back up.

“Is it going to be super fast and right around the corner? Probably not, no. It's going to be a few days," sadi Vincelly. "We're gonna try the best that we can regardless to get open as soon as we possibly can, but there's gonna have to be a way to get around that.”

Restaurants are still waiting for the okay from Governor Bullock, and subsequently guidelines from the health department on how to operate, because restaurants are able to open their dining rooms owners want their employees and their patrons to feel safe while they’re inside.

“I'm hoping that when we reopen that the customers will see that we're trying our best," said Vincelli. "We're trying our best to follow the law and take care of people and not just our staff, but the guests, everyone.”