Rockford restaurant owners on today’s reopening: ‘Feels like Black Friday’

Local News

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — A few restaurant owners compared the feeling of reopening today to Black Friday as customers began coming back after three months of a statewide stay-at-home order.

Greenfire, 6795 E Riverside Blvd, already has 130 reservations lined up for tonight.

The restaurant says it is following state and local guidelines for outdoor seating, and have set up a tent which can fit over 100 people while maintaining a 6-foot social distance.

The staff says a lot of planning has gone into the reopening within the last few days.

Owner Shendet Ismhalha said, “It feels amazing. You know, we have been waiting for this day for a while now and it’s really awesome that we can do it today.”

Greenfire is open until 10 p.m.

Charlie Schweinler, owner of Lino’s Restaurant, 5611 E State St, said they’ve had a smooth set up with their curbside pickup, but nothing beats having to set a table for guests.

Staff are wearing masks and temperatures are checked prior to every shift.

Lino’s also has a tent set up outside for dining outdoors.

“It’s been quite a whirlwind,” Schweinler said. “We’ve been waiting to find out what the rules, regulations are, what we can do and cannot do. We finally got that out Wednesday night. From Wednesday to now, it’s kind of been a non-stop rush, figuring out how we can do all this and keep people safe, and keep our employees rolling and our business alive and thriving.”

Lino’s is still offering curbside pickup, in addition to its new outdoor seating.

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