COLORADO SPRINGS — As of now, Colorado counties can implement regulations at a local level while still maintaining some limited requirements.
In El Paso County, capacity limits are no longer in place and the COVID-19 dial is gone, which means changes are once again happening at restaurants, but this time they get to call the shots.
“We are super excited for this, we’ve been waiting for this for 395 days,” the Owner of Wyatt’s Pub & Grill Todd Wyatt said.
Each restaurant can choose to add additional restrictions at their own discretion, Salsa on the Rock in northern Colorado Springs will now use their bar table and hang on to some limitations.
“I think it was a great decision by the governor to give it back to the counties and let each one decides what they want to do,” the Owner of Salsa on the Rock Scott Morrissey said. “I’m still keeping six feet between my other tables for the time being, just for a little bit longer.”
In downtown Colorado Springs, Red Gravy will also be using it’s bar and is dividing it’s dinning room.
“We’re going to have one section in the front of our dining room that will maintain six-foot spacing between tables,” Red Gravy Owner Eric Brenner said.
Wyatt’s Pub and Grill in northern Colorado Springs is opening their restaurant with no capacity limits and 90% of their staff has been vaccinated.
Our tables are decently spaced, they’re not 6 feet,” Wyatt said. “The requirement has been lifted but I figure if you feel uncomfortable you’re a grown adult you can make a choice to go wherever you like we’re gonna take all the precautions we have been doing for the whole pandemic with sanitation and our staff will still be in masks but we figured it’s just time.”
However, the pandemic forced the restaurants to think outside the box and implement changes to open up their doors and some of those changes are not going away.
“The QR codes for the menu are here to stay,” Wyatt added. “I don’t know if i will ever pay to print a menu again.”
“Our online ordering is something we didn’t really have a whole lot and it accounts now for a good portion of our businesses,” Brenner said.
Red Gravy also is planning to incorporate their outdoor patio seating and has opened up an additional room within their establishment.
Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers said restrictions could come back if cases continue to increase and put pressure on hospitals.
“There’s always that fear that we are going to go back, but right now we are going to enjoy this,” Morrissey said.