MANHATTAN, Kan. (KSNT) – A new Riley County health order goes in to effect Monday giving bars and restaurants more freedom.
Aside from the mask requirement, bars and restaurants are now back to pre-pandemic rules.
Bars and restaurants in Riley County can now operate at full capacity and stay open until 2:00 a.m. Bartenders can now take orders from customers at the bar, which was not allowed under the previous order.
Scott Sieben is the owner of Kite’s Bar & Grill, Rocking K’s, and Mr. K’s Cafe and Bar in Manhattan. He said this is a big step towards putting the past year behind them.
“We are still kind of watching what we are doing, but just to have some of those restrictions pulled off of us as restaurants and bars, it’s very helpful for us. It lets us kind of get back to normal. We’re still not quite there it’s kind of getting a little closer we hope.”Scott Sieben, owner
Sieben said they previously pulled five to six tables out of the restaurant due to the capacity requirements. He said they plan to bring some of those tables back in.
Since customers can once again make orders at the bar, Sieben said this is going to save bars money on staffing.
“We’re not having to have extra staff on that just waits on tables,” Sieben said. “They’ll be allowed to come up to the bar and order. That, one, helps us with labor and controls our cost a little bit which has been tough through this whole thing.”
Although this is a big step forward, Sieben said he doesn’t believe things will immediately go back to normal. He believes online ordering will continue to be popular and some people will need time to warm up to the idea of going back out to bars and restaurants.