Restaurants across Frederick County opened their doors on Friday night for the first time in almost three months. The dining experience was not like when they had closed, however.

In accordance with Gov. Larry Hogan’s phase two of reopening Maryland, restaurants must operate at 50 percent capacity or less. Tables have to be placed at least six feet apart from one another and all employees are required to wear masks.

County Executive Jan Gardner announced she would be following Gov. Hogan’s order on Thursday evening, giving restaurants about a day to prepare if they wanted to reopen for indoor dining.

But many had been looking forward to this and preparing for quite some time. Kim Firestone, owner of Firestone’s on North Market Street, said he was excited to open up the community once again.

Firestone’s was also one of the restaurants able to utilize Market Street’s new weekend closures. Beginning this week, Market Street between Market Square and W. Patrick Street will be closed to traffic to allow for more outdoor eating for restaurants.

“It’s going very well, I’m very happy,” Firestone said. “Of course the weather was great which is a big factor but you know we set up and got a good response.”

Also on the closed portion of the street is The Tasting Room. Owner Jarrett Walsh said the restaurant had been busy all of Friday, between outdoor dining and preparing to open for indoor dinner.

Other restaurants, however, decided to wait to begin indoor dining. Kolby Cregger, general manager of Taco Daddy, said the restaurant is holding off because they want to keep their customers and staff as safe as possible.

“What I fear is after we do indoor dining at 50 percent there’ll be another spike,” Cregger said. “And I just don’t want to risk our guests’ or my staff’s safety with the possibility of another spike of this coronavirus.”

Cregger said the staff has been utilizing enhanced sanitation of every outdoor table and chair, and all wear gloves and masks at all times.

Cacique Restaurant and Tsunami Ramen and Tapas utilized the stretch of Market Street between Church and Patrick Streets. Neither restaurant were open for indoor dining.

Sandra Martin, of Clarksburg, ate at Taco Daddy with her family on Friday evening, glad to be eating out again.

“We’ve been cooped up way too long,” Martin said. However, she said she would hold off on eating indoors anywhere until she felt more safe.

Kyle and Marie Fredrikis, who were eating at Firestone’s outside on Market Street, felt similarly. They were happy to trade outdoor dining for their usual take-out. But they’ll hold off on indoor dining for a while, they said.

Despite many people being wary, all of Firestone’s indoor tables were reserved on Friday.

“Everybody’s thrilled to be back in business and so far I get the impression that people are glad to see us back in business,” Kim Firestone said. “So it works well for everybody.”

Follow Erika Riley on Twitter: @ej_riley.

(55) comments

anthonylapara

Good to see the good doctor enjoying his raw oysters and not worrying about hepatitis and other ailments. Like the doctor, I been enjoying them for years and pay no attention to eating raw shellfish.

sevenstones1000

I would trust Dr. Hernandez with my life. And have.

Greg F

I wouldn’t if he can’t follow health department guidance.

bosco

Oh geeze, Doctor Fed Up GregF, what guidance was he not following? Guidance or regulation? Should or must? Please explain. [ninja]

anthonylapara

Its better to eat raw shellfish than all the fatty diet that most people around here eat

neilyoungfan25

How interesting that two of the finest doctors in Frederick are perfectly comfortable eating INSIDE a restaurant in downtown Frederick! A big healthy sign to the rest of us wondering if we should. I’ll be downtown tonight having dinner!!

JustACitizen

Comfortable for a good economic development photo op. I hear Trump took one at a church in Washington, too.

Greg F

Exactly. One idiot can spoil the lives of many.

patomd969

Good for them!!! They are fine doctors!!!

bosco

It speaks volumes when two doctors are perfectly comfortable eating inside and not wearing masks. I wonder what else they'll be doing? Maybe singing in church? [ninja]

vjhughes

Bosco, you can’t eat while wearing a mask. 😆

petersamuel

How do you know Bosco can't eat while wearing a mask, vjhughes? I've heard Bosco can do some amazing things.

bosco

You got that right. So if we are ok distancing without a mask in a restaurant, is there any rationale for requiring a mask in other occupancies? [ninja]

Greg F

Keep in mind Dr. Oz and his quack medicine and trumps doctor who said he was a fit 200 pounds.

Greg F

Bosco the troll...always ready to show he is far smarter than the brightest researchers out there. I’ll trust Fauci and all the rest. You be the control group on the placebo.

bosco

Anyone who doesn't agree with you is a troll? You crack me up Doctor Fed Up GregF. [lol][lol][lol][lol][ninja]

Greg F

Operating on others having been exposed to Covid more likely.

Dwasserba

They look slim. Bet they take care of themselves. Wonder about the risk factors of those thinking as you are.

bosco

The CDC has a list of the higher risk categories, but I haven't seen a study where those are included in the statistics of cases or deaths. I am so fortunate that the only risk category I'm in is by age - and I am in good health and don't need any prescription drugs for underlying conditions. [thumbup][ninja]

JustACitizen

New daily cases are rising in 25 states. Oh, goody. Let's place hedonism & human desire before science & health. Some of us will be saying, "Told you so," before long.

vodalone

Cases are rising in MD too and practically in every state, that's due to increased testing volume.

bosco

Yep, vodalone, with more testing the chart to watch is ICU beds and deaths. After all, wasn't the goal of the lockdown to flatten the curve and not overwhelm the health care system? Why do I get the sense that the media is trying to shift the goal to zero cases to keep it going?

threecents

Because you are a button pusher.

bosco

Only a button pusher in your view. Don't you support free speech and free press, or are you part of the left's cancel culture that can't abide a dissenting opinion and calls out those that they don't agree with? I prefer to be a free thinker than subscribing to groupthink. [ninja]

Greg F

Sorry, B but you’re wrong in this one. You keep listening to your Fox News and the fake stories they post and fake photos they doctor.

bosco

You seem to know a lot about Fox News and their programming Doctor Fed Up GregF and seem quick to try to use them to shut down discussions that don't fit your paradigm. That's par for the left's cancel culture, though, isn't it?

Stay home and keep that mask on 24/7 and turn off Fox News. You're just running their ratings up. [lol][lol][lol][lol][ninja]

Greg F

No, it is not. That was clearly stated in most of the states and especially Texas and Arizona...and those who didn’t ever have any stay at home orders.

vodalone

False.

TomWheatley

The term positivity rate is finally making the rounds, as in the number of cases divided by the testing. Early data will be very, very wrong since testing was very limited. It still is, but as bad as it used to be. So, forget the scare term 'increasing cases' and focus on the 7 day rolling average called positivity rate. And yes, some States have some high number.s Under 5% is the recommended number and MD is at 7.5% and dropping.

https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/testing/testing-positivity

Dwasserba

Never say that.

Greg F

I called it weeks ago. Bosco was right there to say it wouldn’t happen. A faithful trump lapdog.

captainamericarules

Ironic that the chief medical office is not practicing social distancing from the patron behind him while eati g raw seafood hundreds of miles from the ocean.

C.D.Reid

In the first place, how do you know his chair isn't 6' from the one behind him? In the second place, it's the restaurant's responsibility to make sure it is. In the third place, the ocean is only 100 miles away as the crow flies and in the fourth, raw oysters are perfectly safe to eat. So, what's the big deal?

TomWheatley

The height of a standard chair is 18" and looking at that and the floorboard, it is probably closer to 4' instead of 6'. That said, it's up to the restaurant to do the right spacing and they are not facing each other where they can can cough across that distance.

Dwasserba

The optics.

Greg F

Optics? Are you blind?

Drgmtown62

Perfectly safe to eat raw oysters. Until it isn’t.

Broadmoor Don

He looks like he's 6 feet away. What's wrong with eating oysters?

Greg F

If that’s 6 feet than I’m the jolly green giant tall.

C.D.Reid

The distance is best estimated if viewed from a perpendicular angle instead of from the angle in the picture, jolly green giant.

mikec

Distance is really hard to tell in photographs. The focal length can create illusions and distort perception.

threecents

Do the Ho ho ho thing.

bosco

Yeah, mikec you are right. Remember some of those overcrowded beach photos the media used during spring break and memorial day? It depended on the camera angle. Shoot down the beach from the ground and OMG they're packed in like sardines. Take a drone shot from above and you could see the distancing. Depends on the story the media is trying to sell.[ninja]

threecents

Should he be closer to the ocean??

TomWheatley

There was an earlier article depicting water filled Jersey barriers and about a lane and a half for traffic. Is that a different section of Market or are the barriers 'not on the menu' any more?

It will be interesting see how trucks would deliver to the various places that might have those barriers up in place.

Dwasserba

On E. Patrick.

TomWheatley

Ah, thanks. I thought it was on Market.

petersamuel

The water-filled barriers are being used to make safe on-the-street enclosures on Market north of 2nd and on East Patrick. Where the streets are closed N Market Patrick to nearly 2nd St there is no need for the huge water-filled barriers.

gramps

I can't think of anything more appealing than to spend $$$ and sit on the same street that two hours before had vehicular traffic. Not to mention whatever else the public has deemed suitable to leave on the curbside. Ummm, thanks but no thanks. I'll wait until things are a little....cleaner??

newspostreader

That is your choice. Just like it's someone else's choice to enjoy outdoor dining on the street.

joelp77440

Grumpy old man award goes to....... (wait for it)..........this guy![happybirthday]

threecents

[thumbup]Joel

Dwasserba

It's an honor just to be nominated

bosco

The nice thing about all of this is that at least we now have a choice. If we don't want to try to enjoy a meal in one of the "parklets" then request inside dining. This is so far ahead of where we were six weeks ago when there was no choice. [thumbup][ninja]

Drgmtown62

Fair point.

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