TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - Restaurant and bar owners were hoping for big crowds this holiday weekend. Indiana and Illinois restaurants have been operating with reduced customer capacity for months. The Hoosier state was ahead of the Land of Lincoln in reopening phases but that is no longer the case.
Illinois restaurant restrictions were lifted after a judge's ruling last week. News 10 stopped by Crossroads Café in Marshall after the 4th of July holiday. It's open at full capacity.
The owner, Sonny Halimi, says it's good to have steady revenue once again.
"Oh my God, we sold so many steaks, you know. It seemed like a year ago before how it use to be before, before the virus started, you know."
Even though the restaurant is open at full capacity, Halimi says his staff members are doing all they can to maintain a clean and safe environment.
Back in Indiana, some restaurant owners tell us they were "bummed" they could not open at full capacity over holiday weekend.
The state was set to enter stage 5 of the Back on Track plan this weekend but, after an increase in new coronavirus cases, Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb decided to hold off. The state is now in stage 4.5. This means restaurants, bars and entertainment venues must stay at stage 4 capacity levels.
News 10 spoke with the owner of the Copper Bar in Terre Haute. He says business over the holiday weekend was about the same as past years. He says he is still disappointed he'll have to wait another two weeks to open fully.
Nick Zwerner says, "It's kind of a holiday where people do their own thing at home and have their own fireworks but we wanted to be open for people that didn't have any plans and wanted to come out so I'd say we were happy with the turn out but it is what it is.”
Zwerner says these next two weeks will give his staff more time to prepare and maintain a safe environment.