Masks, disposable menus, 6-feet spacing: Fresno restaurants reopen with new COVID-19 measures

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- It's the new normal.

Employees are disinfecting tables while temperatures are taken at the door.

These are just a few of the new protocols Yosemite Falls sports bar has put in place as they reopened their dining room on Friday.

"Its going to be different for us and the customers. It's for everybody's safety," said owner Manny Peralis.

Yosemite Falls was one of the first to welcome back customers on Friday after Fresno city officials announced Thursday that restaurants could reopen as soon as they were ready.

Signs on the door remind customers the restaurant is compliant, and to wear a mask.

Inside, customers can scan and download the menu, or take a disposable copy.

Owner Manny Peralis says families are seated six feet apart.

Customers inside say the added steps didn't stop them from dining out.

"We came to the table, they told us if we're going to the bathroom to wear our mask... we felt comfortable about the extent he's going to to keep us safe," says Fresno resident Joey Yanez.

Most restaurants we reached out to don't plan to open until Tuesday.

The owner of Cracked Pepper Bistro says despite have the gear and protocol in place, they won't be able to reopen until Thursday because they need time to get both their staff and inventory back.

He said it's still a work in progress to train employees in the new protocols, but even with some empty tables, he's just glad to be open.

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The Train Depot is among the first to welcome back customers after Fresno city officials announced Thursday that restaurants could reopen as soon as they were ready.

A day after Yosemite Falls, The Train Depot in northeast Fresno opened for dine-in service on Saturday.

"We have had things ready to go for quite some time now," says owner Patricia Escovado.

Escovado says their first service was much slower than their average weekend crowd, but was perfect to work out the new operation kinks.

Escovado announced they were opening Friday night via social media.

She also went over some of the changes.

"We let everybody know that they have to wear a face mask," she says.

Decals on the ground now separate groups six feet apart from each other.

People are asked to stay in their cars as they wait for a table

Seating arrangements have changed inside. Every other table is blocked off.

"We have hand sanitizer throughout the restaurant in multiple places," she says.

Menus are now digital and accessed via barcode. Those who don't have a smartphone are given a disposable paper menu.

The restaurant also has a designated cleaner distinguished by their red apron.

Over the last couple of months, Escovado says they've survived off to-go orders.

Some days have been rough.

"The last two months have been... very hard," she says.

For many other businesses, it's been the same case.

Meanwhile, Escovado says many people have been craving a sense of normalcy.

"A lot of people aren't quite ready to venture out yet, which is understandable, but there are a lot of people that are ready to go," she says.

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