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Restaurants, bars adjust to Madison County mask ordinance

Businesses are in support of the ordinance, so they can remain open.

Posted: Jul 7, 2020 11:28 PM

At 5 p.m. Tuesday, businesses throughout Madison County had to start requiring customers to wear face masks inside. This includres restaurants and bars. 

However, when you are eating or drinking, you will not have to keep it on. Still, establishments did make adjustments for Madison County's new health order. 

At Melt in downtown Huntsville, you will see signs posted on the doors stating customers must wear maks in order to go inside. It will have to remain on when you order or interact with employees. However, the moment you recieve food or drinks, it can come off. 

"We were educating everybody on this and we know this is going to take some time and this is going to take a lot of patience," Assistant General Manager Jennifer Hurt said. 

Hurt siad she had to take a few moments Tuesday night to go over the new policies. 

"We've got to like think, don't go to that table without anybody having a mask on," Hurt said. "So it's something we all have to do."

Melt got creative when it came to complying with the health order. The restaurant added a light to each table so customers can turn it on when they need assistance. 

"If the light is on, they'll put the mask on and go to that table and the guests will know that as well," Hurt said. 

Melt does provide face masks for customers who do not have one. If you are unable to wear a mask, you can sit outside at still be served.

At Stovehouse, people seemed to follow the new ordinance without any problems Tuesday night. However, for months now, there have been several social distancing protocols in place.

"Actually at this moment there's no seating inside the restaurants or bar," Marketing Director Steven Jackson said. 

Inside the bar, Pourhouse, the serving style is far from traditional. However, Jackson said he believes it is setting the right example for other bars.

"Well pourhouse has been great about making an efficient ordering system," Jackson said. "So, it minimizes exposure and gets people out to the lawn."

Once people are socially distanced and have their food or drinks on the lawn, the masks come off. Even with an ideal set up, Jackson still expects some people to avoid businesses all together.

"I think with the mask ordinance there are going to be people who just don't bother going out," Jackson said. "Which you know, we expect to see a little dip."

At Green Bus Brewing, you will still be able to sit down at the bar. However, co-owner Carey Huff said they are taking the new rules seriously.

"It's not that difficult for us to adapt and to learn and to follow new rules," Huff said. 

For them, there is something worse for their business than having to wear a mask.

"I'd rather have a masking ordinance than a prohibition on dining rooms," Huff said.

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