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The #1 Reason Why Your Favorite Restaurant Isn't Reopened Yet

You’re not the only one worried about safety.
Waitress laughing with customer at a restaurant.

There's a lot of uncertainty surrounding eating out these days. Restaurants opened their dining rooms again after months of stay-at-home orders and welcomed customers back in to eat. Yet cases are back on the rise, and two states, Texas and Florida, already shut down bars again.

At restaurants that are open, many servers have noted mistakes that customers have made that create a less safe environment. Things like not wearing masks and large groups not only put the servers but the other people dining at risk. Restaurants not reopening, even though they are allowed, are doing so because of this.

Related: 40 Ways to Stay Safe as Restaurants Reopen Near You

Illinois is now allowing eateries to open at a 25% capacity limit, and according to Block Club Chicago, some owners, like Mike Simmons, are opting out and waiting until it is safer. Simmons is the co-owner of Cafe Marie-Jeanne in Humboldt Park which is only open takeout still.

"It's real and it's deadly and there's no clear way to prevent the spread [of coronavirus] other than not being around each other," Simmons says. "We're not really looking to play into this puppet show of normalcy that seems to be wanted right now."

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But other restaurants not reopening don't even have the option. Yelp recently released data that says that of the restaurants that were listed as "closed" on the Yelp site after March 1, 41% are closed for good.

One of those could be a popular kid's birthday party venue that has struggled since the beginning of the pandemic. CEC Entertainment, which owns Check E. Cheese and Peter Piper Pizza, recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Over 260 locations of the two have reopened, but the rest of the 468 will be phased open in the coming weeks. Look out for news about whether or not the bankruptcy is approved. If it is then you can visit the locations in person (while following safety precautions) to play games and eat some of the restaurant's famous pepperoni pizza!

READ MORE: Click here for all of our latest coronavirus coverage.

Eat This, Not That! is constantly monitoring the latest food news as it relates to COVID-19 in order to keep you healthy, safe, and informed (and answer your most urgent questions). Here are the precautions you should be taking at the grocery store, the foods you should have on hand, the meal delivery services and restaurant chains offering takeout you need to know about, and ways you can help support those in need. We will continue to update these as new information develops. Click here for all of our COVID-19 coverage, and sign up for our newsletter to stay up-to-date.

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Amanda McDonald
Amanda McDonald is a health and food writer and a certified yoga instructor. Read more
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