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To Save Alive, Restaurants Reopen Inside Dining

The Original Springs owner Mary Rennegarbe’s heart sank when three groups who were seated in the pool area for outdoor dining Sunday evening got up and left.
  “I just couldn’t take it any more,” she said. The latest  two week COVID-19 restriction on in-side dining had been too much of loss for the Okawville business.

“I just can’t give up what I worked so hard for the past 31 years,” Rennegarbe said.

Rennegarbe decided right then that the restaurant would reopen for inside dining the next day. “I felt giddy when I  was setting up the dining room, going against the mandate,” said Rennegarbe.

For the Hotel, a loss of dining room service affects the hotel and spa aspect of the business, because people are less likely to stay if they can’t dine in.

The Original Springs is one of numerous county restaurants who are defying the Governor’s ban on in-side service for Region 4. Washington County is included in the Metro-East region that includes St. Clair, Madison, Randolph, Clinton, Monroe, and Bond counties, some of which have higher COVID positivity rates.

Many county restaurants are no longer willing to cooperate with the new ban because they see it unfair since it is not for the entire state. For Washington County at the edge of Region 4, people can drive a few miles to a bordering county to eat.

Read the full article in this week’s issue.

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