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After temporarily closing, some Huntsville restaurants begin to reopen

This is not the first time Humphrey's has had to close its doors temporarily.

Posted: May 5, 2020 11:25 PM
Updated: May 6, 2020 7:41 AM

When coronavirus restrictions in Alabama began impacting whether or not customers could come inside and sit down, some North Alabama restaurants chose to temporarily close and wait out the storm. 

But as weeks go on and they see other businesses transition to curbside service, some of those restaurant doors are swinging back open. 

For awhile, the management at Humphrey's Bar and Grill said it did not financially make sense to stay open, but as the economy started to pick up, the owners chose to reopen last week. 

However, this is not the first time the business had to shut down. 

About a year ago, Humphrey's was forced to close for two months after a fire broke out in the kitchen. 

"It's almost like we're used to it at this point," manager Weghata Tewolde said. 

About a year later, a pandemic caused the restaurant to stop providing any services at the end of March.

"We were trying to not make the issue worse for the people who work here and the people downtown," Tewolde said. "You know we love our community, so we just wanted to make sure we were taking as many precautions as possible."

But as the state begins to reopen in phases, Tewolde said it felt like the right time to get going again.

"Things are kinda getting a little bit better, slowly but surely, so we just wanna kinda get back out here," Tewolde said. "Get everyone back to work so everyone can kinda pay their bills."

But he said during this time off, they did prepare by stocking up on cleaning supplies and protective gear. The employees are now required to wear masks and gloves. Customers are only allowed inside briefly to order or grab a to-go drink.

"It was a bit of slow start, but each day, we've noticed our numbers are getting better and better," Tewolde said.

While dine-in services are still on hold, they are already making adjustments. Tables are six feet apart and there are sanitizing stations throughout the restaurant. 

Customer David Dunham said he is pleased with the adjustments.

"This is what everyone should be doing, I think for now on even," Dunham said. 

It is still unclear when you will be able to dine-in at a restaurant or enjoy a drink in the bar. We expect to hear more about a phase two of reopening from the governor's office before May 15. 

Until then, click here for a list of local restaurants providing to-go services.

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