As indoor capacity restrictions eased Friday, many Maine bar and tasting room owners are waiting before resuming indoor service.
Under Gov. Janet Mills’ plan to lift pandemic restrictions, bars and tasting rooms will be allowed to reopen Friday, and indoor seating capacity will be increased to 50 percent. The plan anticipates increasing that to 75 percent on May 24.
Although the return of indoor seating for bars has been long-awaited, some establishment owners are wary of overwhelming their ability to continue to serve customers safely and effectively, and are waiting to see increased vaccination rates before increasing seating capacity.
“We’ve come this far. We want to make sure that we keep everyone safe. Keep our staff safe. Keep our guests safe. So, we don’t feel the need to rush into it,” Three of Strong Spirits founder Sam Pierce told ABC affiliate WMTW.
With similar concerns, Allagash Brewing plans to expand outdoor seating rather than return to indoor service and won’t be offering tours of its facility.
All bars and tasting rooms will be required to enforce public health and safety protocols, including mask wearing, social distancing and enhanced cleaning.