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Lansing-area restaurant owners excited to bring in bigger crowds

Posted at 9:07 PM, Mar 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-03 21:08:02-05

Starting Friday, Michigan bars and restaurants can open at 50 percent capacity.

When he heard the news, John Coscarelli, owner of Relli's Italian Restaurant in DeWitt said, “There was excitement with a little bit of…fear," because "trying to get employees to come back to work…finding employees right now is going to be a struggle.”

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As far as preparing for capacity to double, however, Coscarelli said, “We shut down part of our dining room to stay at the 25, so we’re going to have to go through that part of the dining room and space out the tables and reserve the ones that are unusable.”

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Owner of Looking Glass Brewing Company, Joel Dillingham, says that he, too, is very grateful for the opportunity to get more people in their seats.

"We've had to put people on waits...sit in their cars, wait for us to text them to tell them come in, absolutely," Dillingham said.

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The average wait time was about one hour at 25 percent capacity, but Dillingham said that should drop to 45 to 30 minutes.

"With the 6-foot spacing for social-distancing purposes, and the six-person maximum per table, unfortunately there's not a lot we can do to add seats... but, we'll definitely have about 14 more seats than we had last week," Dillingham said.

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With indoor dining slowly getting back to business as usual, Dillingham said, his entire staff is back to work.

"We've actually hired two more kitchen and three more servers," he added.

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Coscarelli said he's grateful to the customers and to the employees who have come back for their help and support.

“Hopefully we can all get through this in one piece," he said.

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Russell Shellberg

5:49 PM, Jun 03, 2022

Your Neighborhood Reporter

Russell Shellberg

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