Taking reservations ‘for the first time ever’: Sports bars handling pandemic during football season

Watching the game during the pandemic

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - On a Sunday in 2019, many people might have been out at a bar watching a football game with friends. This year, you might be staying home because of coronavirus concerns.

Regardless, bars and restaurants across Central Virginia are staying open, hoping to drum up some business.

Home Team Grill on West Main Street in the Fan District says they’re doing about 50% of business they usually do during the football season.

“We’re taking reservations for the games for the first time ever and we’ve booked up the seats we do have for the 1 o’clock games,” said owner Mark Overby.

Overby said during football season, they place names on tables for reservations.

“We’re seating a little over 1/3 of our restaurant at this point to keep the six-foot distance and everything we’ve done so far has been trial and error with trying to figure out how to get people to come out and have a good time and come out, whether it’s patio or inside,” said Overby.

Due to the distancing, Overby says they’re losing about 50% of their business in comparison to last year, but they’re also keeping people safe. He says they’ve put up plexiglass around the bar, which is not open to customers.

They’re keeping some tables closed to customers, plus, they’re not allowing customers to move around.

“Once you get to your spot, you stay at your spot,” Overby said.

The restaurant is also doing menus digitally, through your phone, to keep contact at a minimum.

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