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Restaurants Salivating Over Reopening

T.J .Radevski delivers carry-out food from T.J.’s Sports Garden to a drive-up customer. The restaurant will open for sit-down dining today.

MOUNDSVILLE/WHEELING — Restaurants across the Mountain State are slated to open their dining rooms today, and Moundsville’s establishments are no exception to the excitement.

Prima Marina has continued serving customers since the beginning, first with carry-out orders, then among the first restaurants to allow outdoor dining on the patio earlier this month. Today, manager Matt Coffland says their dining room will allow up to 75 people to eat indoors, as well as 52 more on the deck. When asked if he was looking forward to people returning to the dining area, Coffland described the restrictions by the state as “the biggest scam ever,” which he said have severely hampered businesses in the state.

“It should never have been shut down,” Coffland said Wednesday. “It’s the biggest scam ever, a bunch of (nonsense). … It’s ridiculous what they did to not only my business, but all businesses. People are tired and fed up. If it’s not safe, let them be the judge, but let people go and get out.

“We’ve been through this from beginning to end — we never closed. Carry-out, delivery, last two weeks we’ve had the deck open.”

Coffland railed against the restrictions on outdoor dining, which he said have negatively affected their ability to provide effective customer service.

“We have had to be very rude to our customers,” he said. “When they’re done, they leave. That’s the rules from the (West Virginia Alcohol Beverage Control Administration) and the health department. They’re not to come in and socialize; they’re to eat and leave. This is a hospitality business. We treat them right, they come in, they can relax, enjoy their meal, have a drink after. We’ve had to take all that off them.”

Ruttenbucks Bar and Grill in Glen Dale had recently installed a drive-thru to accommodate carry-out orders. They’re among the other restaurants reopening, with an indoor seating capacity of 25 people.

Meanwhile in Wheeling, several restaurant officials said they plan to open in a limited capacity today. At least one restaurant plans to stay with take-out and delivery service for the time being.

T.J. Radevski, owner of T.J.’s Sports Garden in Wheeling said he is excited to welcome back customers for indoor dining at 50 percent capacity from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

“My capacity is 200, so I hope I get 100 people here,” Radveski commented. He said he will continue offering the carhop delivery service in the restaurant’s parking lot as well.

Just up the road in Fulton, Generations Restaurant and Pub owner Mike Duplaga said they will be opening at 11 a.m. for indoor dining to “complement” the outdoor deck which he said has been open for the past two weeks and has been a massive success.

“It’s going to be nice to have indoor dining now,” Duplaga commented. He said it will help eliminate waiting times for dining on their outdoor deck. He said all the tables will be spaced at least 6 feet apart.

“In my opinion, it’s impossible to social distance in a social environment, but we are going to do the best we can do,” Duplaga added.

Also in the Fulton area, a representative of Perkins Restaurant and Bakery would only say they will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. for indoor dining at 50 percent capacity. “We miss you” is posted on the restaurant’s outdoor parking lot marquee along National Road.

Located in the Center Market section of Wheeling, Later Alligator officials have decided to continue offering their curbside and delivery service while waiting to a later date to reopen for indoor dining.

Mitchell Haddad of Later Alligator, said they continue to “process” information and protocols associated with social distancing.

“We’re a small space. … As far as opening the courtyard or opening the inside, we’ll do that when we feel like it is the smart and safe thing to do,” Mitchell Haddad explained.

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