Local restaurants take extra steps preparing for fourth of July weekend

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) – Despite health officials recommending against it, many people will be going out and about for the fourth of July weekend.

Mike Sommer is just one of many who will be enjoying the fourth of July weekend dining in.

“We plan to go to some local restaurants,” Sommer said.

However, he has encountered some problems out of town.

“We’ve been in a few restaurants where we felt very uncomfortable because they didn’t have the right spacing,” Sommer said. “And people would come up to you without a mask as if nothing’s going on.”

Bodega Brew Pub is making sure this won’t happen in its business.

“We’re kind of expecting people to be out and about,” general manager T.J. Zimmerman said. “For staff, we’re wearing masks. You’re required the moment you walk in the door, you have to have your mask on.”

Zimmerman says only 50 people at once are allowed inside right now, and the bar area is not open.

“They have to physically move the chairs to get up to the bar, which you can hear and you can see, and then you can tell them please don’t do that,” Zimmerman said.

He says it’s crucial to keep track of who’s going in and out, especially for what’s likely to be a busy weekend.

“You’ve gotta do a head count, and you gotta make sure if you’re at your limits, that’s it,” Zimmerman added. “It’s unfortunate because you want them, and have people in to make the money.”

But health and safety comes first.

“They’re doing the right things,” Sommer said.

While some bars and restaurants are open for dining, others are choosing to be open for carryout and delivery only right now.

Some are staying fully closed.