NOBLESVILLE — As part of the five stages to reopen Indiana, restaurants and bars that serve food will be able to open at 50 percent capacity starting May 11.
A local restaurant owner in Noblesville talked about the steps they plan to take as they cautiously move forward.
Rosie's Place is considered one of the local staples on the square in downtown Noblesville. Owner Debbi Bourgerie said the COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on her business.
"Noblesville is very much a small-town feel," Bourgerie said. "Everybody knows each other, everybody supports each other."
For 10 years, Rosie's Place has served as a gathering spot for local families.
"It's more than just a place to get a bite to eat," she said.
Located in between other small local businesses on 9th Street, Rosie's Place is still serving the community with zero contact carryout orders.
"We are running maybe at 20 percent," Bourgerie said. "Minimum, minimum staff, which is probably the hardest part is that we can't be here to welcome in our neighbors or our employees who are the ones that are hurting."
Bourgerie said 90 percent of their staff has been laid off but grant money from Noblesville's Small Business Resilience Grant Program has allowed them to stay open and pay their bills. Now, the focus shifts to reopening.
"I don't envision us being the first restaurant in the front of the line doing that because we lost sleep for six weeks trying to daily make sure the few people we did have on staff were safe," Bourgerie said.
When the restaurant does reopen, they will follow CDC and state guidelines, which includes limiting guests to 50 percent capacity, requiring servers and kitchen staff to wear face coverings and screening employees daily.
"Bottom line is I really do think that what your community is looking for is to come in and have that experience that they miss," Bourgerie said. "It's going to be awhile until we get there."
As part of the guidelines from the state in stage two, bar seating will be closed with no live entertainment. Bars and night clubs that don't serve food will remain closed until stage four which is set to start on June 14.