Some metro Atlanta restaurants reverse decisions to reopen

Five vendors currently are operating for takeout and delivery at Marietta Square Market. Ten additional food vendors are expected to reopen in May. LIGAYA FIGUERAS / LIGAYA.FIGUERAS@AJC.COM
Five vendors currently are operating for takeout and delivery at Marietta Square Market. Ten additional food vendors are expected to reopen in May. LIGAYA FIGUERAS / LIGAYA.FIGUERAS@AJC.COM

Gov. Brian Kemp issued guidelines April 23 for restaurants to resume dine-in service on Monday, forging ahead with his plan to ease coronavirus restrictions.

Georgia reopened some nonessential businesses on Friday, including gyms, nail salons, barbers and massage therapists, while restaurants and movie theaters will be allowed to restart service beginning April 27.

Kemp’s latest order requires restaurants to adhere to 39 guidelines, including screening employees for signs of illness, requiring all staffers to wear face coverings at all times, and limiting capacity to no more than 10 patrons per 500 square feet. Party sizes at tables are limited to no more than six.

Some operators that had announced plans to open next week reversed their decision, including business partners Mychel "Snoop" Dillard and rapper 2 Chainz who own Escobar Restaurant and Tapas Lounge in Castleberry Hill.

Marietta Square Market also will not be reopening its patio to dining next Wednesday as previously announced. Despite having issued a memo to tenants outlining new policies and procedures regarding employee health and cleanliness, cleaning and disinfecting, and social distancing, Kemp’s latest orders have the food hall’s owners Rich Dipollito and Ed Lee taking things slower. “We think it’s way too early. We weren’t ready. As soon as we feel like it’s safe, we’ll get ready and announce an opening,” Lee said.

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