Gov. Kemp reopens buffets, relaxes restaurant capacities and other dining news from the week

Gov. Brian Kemp issued an executive order June 11 that included new provisions for Georgia restaurants. 

ExploreHighlights of the order include:

· There is no longer a party maximum for the number of people who can sit together.

· There is no longer a limit on the number of patrons allowed per square foot.

· Employees are only required to wear face coverings when they are interacting with guests.

· For salad bars and buffets, an employee can use cafeteria-style service to serve guests or the establishment can provide hand sanitizer, install a sneeze guard, enforce social distancing, and regularly replace shared utensils to allow patron self-service.

· Playgrounds can open but must be cleaned and sanitized regularly if in use.

In addition, gatherings of as many as 50 people are permitted without social-distancing requirements, including at bars. For groups larger than that, the order requires participants to space out at least 6 feet apart.

The provisions contained in the order will be effective from June 16 to June 30.

In addition to changes for restaurants, the order also lifts a shelter-in-place requirement for many older Georgians, clears the way for live entertainment venues to reopen and permits larger gatherings.

•Wood's Chapel BBQ is the latest metro Atlanta restaurant to announce a voluntary temporary closure because an employee tested positive for COVID-19. According to a post on the Summerhill restaurant's Instagram account, the employee is not one who interacts with guests.

Ford Fry's restaurant Inman Park restaurant BeetleCat voluntarily closed last weekend due to a positive COVID-19 test for one of its employees, and reopened today.

BeetleCat is the second Rocket Farms restaurant to close due to coronavirus. Little Rey in Piedmont Heights temporarily closed for take-out service at the end of March after an employee tested positive.

Several other local restaurants temporarily closed in the past few weeks due to positive employee coronavirus tests including the Chamblee location of GustoHattie B's in Little Five PointsForza Storico and Ray's on the River.

•Several more metro Atlanta restaurants and bars have reopened for dine-in or patio service, or announced their plans to reopen in the coming weeks:

Botiwalla reopened at Ponce City Market June 8

Kevin Rathbun Steak reopened for dine-in June 9

ExploreDrift Fish House and Seed Kitchen and Bar in Marietta reopened for dine-in June 10

Varuni Napoli opened both of its locations for dine-in June 10

Best End Brewing Co. in West End reopened its kitchen and patio June 10

Parlor in Castelberry Hill reopened June 10

Murphy's reopened for dinner and brunch June 10

BoccaLuppo reopened for patio service June 10

Little Spirit in Inman Park reopened June 12

Communion at Revival in Decatur reopened June 12

Fox Dogs in Marietta reopened June 12

Redbird in West Midtown will reopen June 16

The Painted Duck and The Painted Pin will reopen July 15

•Ted's Montana Grill has closed its locations in Decatur and near Cumberland Mall, Tomorrow's News Today reports. 

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