Great news for South Carolinian Foodies! South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster lifts the coronavirus precaution that limits restaurant dine-in capacity to 50%.
According to CBS affiliate WLTX News19, Executive Order 2020-63 was issued Friday, October 2, 2020. Remarkably, this order takes effect immediately thus removing all occupancy limitations in restaurants across South Carolina. Gov. Henry McMaster says, “South Carolina is open for business. Our state’s approach has been measured, delibreate, and a targeted one- aimed at keeping our economy open and our people safe.”
With safety seemingly at the forefront of everyone’s minds, face coverings for patrons and restaurant staff is still in place. Furthermore, the sale or consumption of alcohol after 11 PM is still in place. Ultimately, this “last call order” will remain in place until further notice.
Additionally, WLTX spoke with professor and Director of MUSC’s Center for Global Health, Dr. Michael Sweat. Unfortunately, medical professionals fear this could lead to further coronavirus challenges. Dr. Sweat explains, “Let’s say hypothetically a resaurant went from50% to it being full every night to 100%, yes it really does matter and it really amplifies the risk the more you get people close together, and you know whey you’re eating and drinking you can’t really wear a mask, so that is the definition of a risky situation.
Once a coronavirus hotspot, Myrtle Beach is happy to relinquish that title. ABC affiliate 15 News out of Myrtle Beach spoke with a local restaurant owner, Ted Hammerman. Ted Hammerman is the owner of Mr. Fish Seafood Restaurant in Myrtle Beach. Undoubtedly, he is one of many restaurant owners that are happy to have the restaurant capacity restrictions lifted. Hammerman discusses changes to his business due to COVID. “We even pick parties up. We bring them here, and they can have a drink or two, and we bring them home.” Unfortunately, all of that ceased in the midst of the ongoing global pandemic. “The other parties that we had on the books are all canceled,” shares Hammerman.
Sadly, some South Carolina restaurants aren’t lucky enough to reopen. Heartbreakingly, The State reports that “the financial hardship of the coronavirus pandemic has claimed one of Columbia’s most recognizable fine-dining restaurants.” After 14 years, Solstice Kitchen and Wine Bar will not reopen. “Unfortunately, and despite our best efforts, we simply can not overcome numerous issues. Most of which concern money,” writes owner, Ricky Mollohan in a lengthy Facebook post. However, Mollohan’s other restaurant, Mr. Friendly’s Southern Cafe, was able to reopen. Mr. Friendly’s Southern Cafe is located in the Five Points entertainment district of downtown Columbia.
Which restaurants are you most excited to return to? Do you think it’s safe to return to your favorite dine-in establishment? Check back with Lexington Yankee for restaurant recommendations across South Carolina.