Updated: June 16, 2020 06:58 PM
Created: June 16, 2020 05:08 PM
SARATOGA SPRINGS - Phase 3 starts Wednesday, and for the first time in roughly 100 days, people will be able to dine inside a restaurant.
Staff was setting up tables and chairs inside Forno Bistro Tuesday. For the first time since March, people will be allowed to eat inside the popular Broadway restaurant on Wednesday.
"And you know what, people are just happy to be out," smiled Nancy Bambara, vice president of DZ Restaurants which owns Forno and two other Saratoga Springs eateries.
Under state order, restaurants will be allowed to operate at a maximum of 50 percent indoor capacity, and they have to post signs reminding guest to keep their distance.
Most will have a supply of masks on hand, said Bambara.
"People don't always carry it with them, so we can have some extras for them to take."
Which is where five gallon buckets come in. A coalition of business groups got donations of masks, sanitizer, disinfectant, and signs.
They placed all of the items in the buckets and donated them to hundreds of businesses.
"This is something they're all going to have to have, so what we think we've done is saved them a little bit of money and time to try to find it. It's a start-up kit so that they have everything they need to open their doors and do so safely," Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce President Todd Shimkus.
Shimkus is confident Saratoga's summer can be salvaged and was eager to help give struggling businesses a jump start.
"It's's not just for the business owner, it's also for all the employees that haven't had a paycheck for the last 100 days."
It appears restaurants and businesses will get some more room for outside too.
The City Council was expected to approve a new ordinance at its meeting Tuesday that will allow more sidewalk space for dining and selling, and the city is waiving the permit fee.
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