After restaurants in Alabama were able to open their dining rooms on Monday, Aaron and Lindsey May were quick to get to a diner to eat outside of the house with their six children.
"Getting them all out for a nice meal was just great and they have been wanting to get out the house as well," said Lindsey.
While Monday was for the family, the Mays said Friday was their chance to reclaim their normal date night with an evening out in Athens. They chose to spend the night at Wildwood Diner downtown.
"This establishment's a little more quaint than a diner. So it's our night to kind of have a little more of a romantic meal together where we can focus on each other. That's important in our marriage," said Aaron.
Up until now, the couple had been ordering take out more to help local restaurants.
"It might hurt our pocket a little bit, but we know we're doing our part in the community, so it makes us feel good about that," said Lindsey.
Dozens of people flocked to downtown Athens to advantage of being able to eat out on a Friday night. Some were thrilled at the idea of eating inside for the first time in weeks.
"It's great to be able to have hot food that comes directly to your table, instead of taking home your Styrofoam container and reheating everything in dishes," said Dawn Marcova, a diner at Lucia's Cocina Mexicana.
Others, like Tina Jones, were happy to celebrate life events across the same table instead through Zoom.
"It is a little different, seeing everybody with the masks and taking more precaution [than] usual, but you know, all in all, I think it's a pretty good environment right now," said Jones.
However, while many restaurants were able to open their dining rooms, some like Mozza Pizza and Sports Bar decided to keep their dining room closed so they can watch and see how other restaurants opening up will affect the spread of coronavirus.
Back at Wildwood Deli, owner Matthew Fisher said he's glad the city allowed restaurants to expand their outdoor seating to help with the new rules.
"I think they're going to give us four to six weeks of it, which is good. Hopefully, this will be over in four to six weeks and we can go back to normal life where we can all come out and eat and stay as long as we want," said Fisher.
Fisher said he will also lobby the City of Athens to continue allowing curbside pickup after the pandemic passes.