Some KC business owners celebrating changes to reopening order with new 50% rule

KC Comeback

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas is extending his reopening executive order until July 5, with new rules attached.

His new plan is pretty simple. Basically, it’s out with the 10/10/10 rule and now 50% is the magic number. 
 
“Business entities, gatherings, churches, etc. need to follow the 50% threshold capacity and maintain social distancing both inside and outside,” Lucas said.
 
“Any increase in our ability to have people in the restaurant, it’s gonna be good for all the restaurants you know,” said George Clarke, manager at Charlie Hoopers Brookeside Bar & Grill. 
 
The 50% rule comes as happy news to Clarke who said this on May 7: “Until we get our dining room to at least 50% capacity, it is not realistic to hire everybody.”
 
Between take-out and dining in, Charlie Hoopers is now pulling in about 60% of the money they would normally be making and have hired back quite a few people thanks to a small business loan.
 
“It’s nice to finally get some patrons in here and to just kind of hear that camaraderie at tables and voices in the bar,” Clarke said after Lucas’s announcement. “Makes it sound more like a restaurant again as opposed to just a takeout business.”
 
Other businesses like The Peanut have delayed opening. Owner Melinda Kelly said she doesn’t want her business to be a guinea pig. None of her employees have had COVID-19, and she wants to keep it that way. 
 
Kelly’s plans to open The Peanut on Main on June 5 for outside dining and inside there and downtown June 8. Besides the rules set by Lucas’s new executive order, she has some rules of her own.
 
“If for some reason we have lines, they have to have a mask and they have to be 6 feet apart if they’re outside waiting to come in,” Kelly said. 
 
But there is a payoff for the expansion.

The city will be ramping up social distancing enforcement and has the ability to close or fine businesses that are not complying with the rules. 
 
Restaurant servers will still be required to wear masks, and information gathering of people in a business for more than 10 minutes is still requested.
 
For other details of the order, click here.

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