Restaurant, bar patrons emphasize importance of safety as weather warms, last call order lifted

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MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCBD) – On Friday Governor Henry McMaster announced South Carolina bars and restaurants will soon return to normal operation hours, lifting his last call orders. The announcement comes just ahead of a weekend with expected warmer weather and people excited to head to bars and restaurants.

While bars and restaurants will be able to stay open later starting in March, restaurant owners say safety measures like masking up and staying distant are here to stay at least for now. Bar goers say they think it’s the right move.

“Being here on Shem Creek as the weather changes, the number of people who come to Shem Creek obviously changes,” says Andy Palmer, a Co-Owner of Tavern and Table.

For Palmer, he says mask wearing remains a requirement both inside and out when not eating or drinking at the restaurant.

“I’ve found that most people will all walk in with masks on,” says Palmer. “Once they get inside and they get comfortable they take their masks off. We’ve had zero issues with people wearing masks in our restaurant.”

Despite some loosening of restrictions by Governor McMaster, CDC and DHEC guidelines remain in place to keep COVID-19 spread minimal for those grabbing a bite to eat.

“We’ve been able to follow those to a ‘T’ and feel like anybody that comes in to visit us feels comfortable,” says Palmer.

For bar goers, they say the restrictions make all the difference when dining out.

“I think they’re doing a great job,” says husband and wife Brian and Alicia Murphy. “I think they’re doing a great job.”

“We’ve actually been to Tavern and Table three times since COVID-19 and every time it’s been very good,” says Jessica Goerling.

At Tavern and Table, restrictions include increased distance between tables and mandatory mask wearing from the front door to dockside seating on the creek.

“Between distancing and the cleanliness and the way they’re serving the food and the waitstaff wearing masks, that’s an excellent idea,” says Brian and Alicia Murphy. “That’s an excellent idea.”

They’re standards bar goers hope will remain in place for as long as needed to keep them coming back.

“I think it’s all good, I think if you feel unsafe you need to wear a mask,” says Brian Murphy.

“I mean just wash your hands and wear your mask,” says Goerling.

Palmer says Tavern and Table has been making preparations for a return to normal hours, making sure that safety measures remain in place at all times and customers continue to feel safe.

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