Some Springfield restaurants, brewery delay opening outdoor dining

A few Springfield restaurants and a brewery have decided to not open outdoor seating on Friday but take extra time to prepare for diners.

“There’s so many unanswered questions right now that we need some more time to digest them, talk them through and try to do what’s best,” Kevin Loftis, owner of Mother Stewart’s Brewing Co. said. “I don’t want to start off on the wrong foot.”

Loftis said there are so many new variables he needs to work through like having hostess seating, cleaning tables between every person and establishing a waiting area.

“I’m more nervous now than I was sitting around losing money,” Loftis said.

Mother Stewart’s Brewing Co. is planning to open for outdoor seating on Wednesday, May 20 and indoor seating on Thursday, May 21. This weekend they will continue to do their normal carryout, Loftis explained.

When they open for outdoor and indoor seating, he said they are expecting to be able to seat around 50 people in their taproom and 75 to 85 people in their beer garden. Usually, Mother Stewart’s Brewing Co. is able to seat 150 people in just their taproom.

“We’re going to be more than spread out,” Loftis said. “It’s not just about six feet, it’s about people’s comfort.”

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Temporary seating may be added outside or in the brewhouse depending on the need, Loftis said.

Stella Bleu Bistro, Un Mundo Cafe and Guerra’s Krazy Taco have also decided to not have outdoor seating on Friday.

“We make everything,” Stella Bleu Bistro Chef and Co-Owner Darin Mitchell said. “We have so much to do.”

Mitchell explained that he wanted to wait and “open it right” instead of hustling and opening on Friday with the questionable weather.

According to weather reports, scattered showers and storms are expected on Friday with afternoon showers and storms expected to develop on Saturday.

Stella Bleu Bistro is planning to reopen with outdoor and indoor seating on Thursday, May 21.

“We’re going to lose a lot – probably close to 40 percent of our seating as far as the inside goes,” Mitchell said. But, they will have a new outdoor seating area that could potentially seat 50 to 60 people.

The bistro temporarily closed when Gov. Mike DeWine announced that the Ohio Department of Health issued an order to close all Ohio bars and restaurants to in-house patrons on March 15.

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Mitchell said they decided to not do carryout because he thought they would lose money.

Un Mundo Cafe tried to stay open for carryout by reducing their hours, but owner Duke Level said, it was not cost effective for them to be open.

Level is planning to reopen for outdoor and indoor seating on Monday, June 1.

“I’d rather give a little distance for some of the others to open and see how it goes,” Level said. “Then we will have a few weeks to evaluate.”

In the meantime, Level said he is working on making seating adjustments to ensure social distancing outside and indoors.

“I think in the near distant future, this is going to be the new norm for awhile,” Level said.

Guerra’s only began offering carryout April 29, and owner Felix Guerra said in a text message he expects that to continue until at least June.

“We have been open for two weeks and still have a lot to learn,” Guerra said.

Loftis said Mother Stewart’s customers should expect “a slightly modified experience here as we deal with the regulatory and common sense procedures that we put in place.”

“We want to see them,” Loftis said. “We’ll work our way through the new normal and go from there.”

For more information on when the restaurants or the brewery will reopen, customers should search for them on Facebook.

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