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Something's cooking, Lancaster restaurant owners excited to serve diners outdoors

The last county in our area to move into the yellow phase, Lancaster County. Restaurants owners are excited and busy preparing for outdoor dining safely.

LANCASTER, Pa. — The day is finally here! People can start venturing out to their favorite restaurants across the commonwealth.

Restaurant owners in Lancaster City are excited and busy preparing to serve customers in-person with outdoor dining, while following new safety guidelines on Friday. 

Many hope this is the start of feeling somewhat normal again.

Lancaster County officially moved into the yellow phase on Friday, making it the last county in our area to do so. With that Friday June 5, marks the start of Governor Tom Wolf allowing restaurants to once again serve customers in-person with outdoor dining. 

While these stores have only been able to serve customers through takeout, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, restaurants said the Lancaster community has been truly incredible. 

"It's honestly been awesome, I was surprised at first you know a little worried. But everybody has been really supportive," said Executive Chef at Shot and Bottle Cory Sayres.

After more than two in a half months with no diners, Shot and Bottle and Zoetropolis are looking forward to serving people at their establishments once again. 

Tables will be arranged outside at both locations, abiding by CDC regulations for social distancing and the Governors orders. 

Their goal is to have customers and staff feel safe, while also enjoying their experience at both locations. 

Because this is something we've never dealt with -- it'll be a working progress for sure. 

"Anything that makes people feel safe, we'll try to have signs out and figure out things... I don't know, do you know? We just want safety to be our first priority," said Part Owner of Zoetropolis Leigh Lindsay.

The owners of Zoetropolis are working through ideas like texting in your order, or ordering ahead online. 

Following guidelines, seats will basically be assigned, and people will not be allowed to walk about like before... but it's a start!

With almost one week of protests surrounding city streets, both restaurants agree that they are not concerned and don't think they'll be impacted. 

“We’re happy that things have been going so well just last night they were standing up here and driving by, honking it, supporting it," said Sayres. 

Distiller and Zoetropolis partner Nate Boring, said they certainly understand the need for the protest. 

"I've seen nothing but respect for the local businesses," said Boring. 

Although the last few months have been extremely tough-- the Lancaster community is motivating one an other to keep things going. 

“I knew Lancaster would be that way but when you see it you are like oh wow this is really awesome," said Sayres. 

Zoetropolis even running out of items to keep up with demand with limited opening during the pandemic. 

“Thank you for constantly supporting us Lancaster, always I just feel really lucky, times are crazy and were scrambling trying to keep up.. the community support makes me tear up at times its awesome," said Leigh. 

You can make reservations for both restaurants online or by calling them. They are asking you please wear a mask until you have to eat. 

Restaurants will be allowed to take reservations at 50% capacity. Zoetropolis is putting a two hour limit per reservation. They said this should give customers time to eat and give them enough time to clean and sanitize before the next party is set. 

Shot and Bottle will begin their new hours starting on Monday, and hope to add Sunday brunch in the future. 

With Zoetropolis having two large garage doors, they are waiting for approval to eventually add even more tables inside because its considered open air. 

You can check out their websites for updates on menus, hours, and safety protocols. 

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