Restaurants prepare to reopen dining rooms

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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) -- Restaurants in Rockford could open sooner than expected, but the Winnebago County Health Department won’t finalize plans and recommendations to the public until May 26th.

"I was quite surprised honestly you know it's our goal to have guests inside of our restaurant," Owner of Lucha Cantina Joshua Binning said.

Nearly nine weeks after dining rooms closed, restaurants will be allowed to reopen on June 1st, and owners are preparing the best they can

"We've been pushing to try and figure out when this day was going to come," Co-owner of Lino’s Charlie Schweinler said. "We've got an idea of an entire staff basically that is doing nothing but sanitizing while the rest of the operation is still continuing."

"I couldn't have been happier, called everyone, told everyone, called my managers," CEO of Prairie Street Brewing Co. Chris Manuel said. "Making sure we have enough PPE for the employees, we're fully expecting to have to have employees masked, possibly gloved."

Owners say they expect tables to be six feet apart, and that the number of people allowed in dining areas will be restricted.

"If we take our patio, our dining room, and our bar we can seat a little over 200 guests so we're going to be dialing way back from that," Binning said. "We've always taken pride in serving our guests and one thing we've said is we love bringing people together whether it is at our table or theirs."

Owners agree, they are thrilled to serve customers again, and they welcome any extra work required to open the doors.

"It's a special thing to be a part of so many memories and traditions and to not be a part of that has been hard," Schweinler said.