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NC begins Phase 2 of reopening amid COVID-19 pandemic

NC begins Phase 2 of reopening amid COVID-19 pandemic
Restaurants in North Carolina were allowed to reopen at 5 p.m. Friday for dine-in services for the first time in months. (Photo credit: WLOS staff)

Restaurants in North Carolina were allowed to reopen at 5 p.m. Friday for dine-in services for the first time in months.

Under Gov. Roy Cooper's order, they must remain at 50 percent capacity.

“We’re gonna take it week by week,” Baked Pie Co. owner Kirsten Fuchs said.

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Fuchs said she made the decision to stay closed even though she's technically allowed to reopen at this time.

“The virus is still out there. I think it’s gonna reactivate. And I would hate to open up and then turn around and reclose again,” Fuchs said.

She said her team is covered with unemployment and she thinks it makes the most sense to just wait and see what happens.

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Across town, restaurants like Universal Joint are still taking advantage of takeout and delivery.

“People in Asheville have been so kind to us, like it has made it doable,” manager Wesley Joines said.

Universal Joint does not plan to reopen for dine-in just yet.

“Either late next week or beginning of the week after,” he said.

Across Haywood Road, Westville Pub is open for business.

“We have 6 foot to distance in between each table. We have large dividers between tables, as well,” owner Drew Smith said. “We’ll be doing all menus digitally with a QR code.”

Smith said there's no easy answer to this. He's just doing what he believes is best for him and his business right now.

“The only clarity I do have is that if we don’t get open and start doing business soon then a staple of West Asheville and Asheville in general, that’s been open almost 20 years, won’t be here anymore. So, that’s the only part that’s clear to me, and we’ve gotta get going and do it as safely as humanely possible and try and get back to work,” Smith said.

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