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Indianapolis' reopening plan doesn't work for all restaurants

Posted at 1:03 AM, May 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-14 01:03:28-04

INDIANAPOLIS — As Indianapolis and Marion County slowly begin the process to reopen from the stay-at-home orders some business owners are expressing frustration at the timeline.

Mena Hawkins is not happy with Mayor Joe Hogsett's plan to let restaurants open on May 22 but only with outside seating.

"I don't have any outside seating," Hawkins said.

The idea will more than likely work out fine for restaurants that already have tables and chairs outside, but Hawkins has limited space to work with at her restaurant, Weebles Bar and Grill, on the northeast side of Indy. Outside dining was never in her business plan.

"Are they gonna give me money to buy table and chairs to serve outside?" Hawkins said.

For 40 years, Hawkins has run a business in this spot. She's hoping the city offers some sort of help to people like her.

"I've been paying $8,000 a year in property tax," Hawkins said. "Are you going to cover my propery tax and my utility bills?"

Not knowing if Weebles was open, some customers left, but Hawkins is adjusting the best she can and offering carryout service. However, she doesn't think it's going to work considering so many counties around Marion County have restaurants open and ready for customers.

"15 minute drive they can go eat, sit down, drink but that can't do this in Marion County," Hawkins said. "This is my opinion, it's a lot of BS, mayor."

Hawkins also said she understands wanting to try and stop the spread of the coronavirus but she thinks continued restrictions won't do much good if people are going outside of the county to eat, drink and shop, potentially bringing the virus back here.