Jacksonville area beaches restaurants prepare for crowds memorial day weekend

Jacksonville area beaches restaurants prepare for crowds memorial day weekend

Jacksonville, Fla. — Memorial Day weekend is here, and with hundreds of visitors coming to the area, restaurants are having to prepare as the coronavirus is still a risk.

Although restaurants are having to operate at 50% capacity this holiday weekend, restaurant owners said they’re just glad to be open to the public.

The state is mandating that restaurants put social distancing measures in place, like spacing out the tables.

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Dockside Seafood Restaurant Director of Operations Eric Williams said he’s expecting a busy weekend at the waterfront business.

Williams said employees are required to wear a mask and gloves.

Stuart also expects a steady flow of customers over the Memorial Day weekend, so his workers have moved more than a dozen tables and chairs outside.

Some restaurant owners at Jax Beach say they are looking forward to having visitors after spring break was not as profitable as it usually is.

Dockside Seafood Restaurant is also disinfecting tables twice and even has an online menu that guests scan with their phones instead of having to use handheld menus.

Memorial Day weekend is here and for the first time some restaurants in our area are preparing for crowds of visitors amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Restaurants have to operate at 50% capacity this holiday weekend, but some restaurant owners told Action News Jax they’re just glad to be open.

Dockside Seafood Restaurant is busy.

More than a dozen people stood in line waiting to get seated and no one was wearing anything covering their faces Friday night.

As the state continues to reopen, Dockside Seafood Director of operations Eric Williams says he is expecting an even bigger turnout this year and social distancing plans will still be in place.

“Memorial Day weekends are always busy, the beaches get crowded,” said Williams.

Many restaurants along Jacksonville Beach have put social distancing plans in place to keep people safe including Lynch’s Irish Pub on 1st Street North.

Williams said employees at Dockside Seafood will be required to wear a mask and gloves. He also said workers will be consistently disinfecting tables throughout the day.

Though living in a time of social distancing, many are still optimistic.

“I think that everybody in our industry is hoping that there will be continued ease of restrictions,” said Williams.

Williams told Action News Jax he’s looking forward to having visitors after spring break was not as profitable as it usually is.

Some restaurant owners also say they don’t plan on taking any reservations right now to keep from getting big crowds.

Plenty of people in town this weekend as several hotels are fully booked and short-term rentals are back open.