Bozeman restaurant prepares to open dining area during phase one of governor's plans

Posted at 9:54 AM, Apr 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-25 12:12:51-04

BOZEMAN — Governor Bullock's plan to reopen Montana allows restaurants to open their dining areas as early as May 4, and a local restaurant owner says he’ll be ready.

“Sweet! Let’s get people out and about and into restaurants again,” said Brandon Hale, owner of Brando’s Wings in Bozeman.

While some restaurants have been hesitant to open their doors in less than two weeks, Hale says Brando's will be ready to go one day later on May 5.

“It’ll be nice to have people back in here and people just out and about eating,” he said.

And the restaurant’s secret to being ready to open up so soon seems to be its size.

“We have a small seating area, capacity of 32,” he explained.

But no matter how small, the restaurant still has to follow certain guidelines, which the owner says will require some changes.

“Yeah, 50 percent of capacity and there’s still the 6 foot distance rule, so we’re going to have to pull out a few tables,” Hale said.

And fewer people could mean less food served.

“It hurts still a little bit. I mean, our capacity is only 32, so bringing it down to 16, you know, on a busy night will hurt us still a little bit. But, it’s manageable,” the owner explained.

But who’s responsible for making sure the guidelines and limitations are being followed?

“I think people need to be aware and take responsibility for their social distancing but also owners, I think, need to remove seating or help them a little bit,” said Hale.

But Brandon is confident everything will work out because he’s already seen so much support from the community.

“Everybody’s been great during this. The customers are really… Bozeman has been great. We’ve got a lot of support through this,” Hale said.

While restaurants are clear to open their dining areas, there’s still a long way to go before operations are back to what they were before this pandemic.

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