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Suburban Milwaukee County bars, restaurants enter Phase C of reopening

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MILWAUKEE COUNTY (CBS 58) -- Suburban Milwaukee County took another step in reopening Friday, June 12, entering Phase C.

The announcement came after officials say cases, testing and contact tracing is trending in the right direction.

Phase C means gatherings of up to 50 people, retail shops up to 50-percent capacity, and restaurants and bars up to 75-percent, but that doesn't mean every place is going to be packed right off the bat.

John Rownd and his family spent their first night out together in months, sitting down to dinner inside Leff's Lucky Town.

"Certainly Leff's is doing social distancing and doing it right, so we felt safe about it," Rownd said. 

And while bars and restaurants can now have up to 75-percent capacity inside, that's not necessarily possible, because tables need to be six feet apart to maintain social distancing.

"It's limiting," said General Manager Mike Szohr. "We don't have the largest facilities here, but we're going to do the best we can."

Szohr says it's still great to get back to business, but things are definitely different.

"Leff's developed 25 years ago by this togetherness concept. Big tables that were together, meet your neighbor. Now this is kind of the exact opposite of what we've been striving for for 25 years."

And not every restaurant is ready to open.

"We're not going to be open for dine-in for the next couple weeks," said Jarod Packard, owner of Lucky Joe's. "I just want to make sure I go in slow with this and make sure, take as well as possible for everybody's safety."

But Lucky Joe's did open their patio Friday, and immediately it was full.

"It's very cool, and so far I've already got a couple regulars here," Packard said.

In addition to social distancing, both Leff's and Lucky Joe's have hand sanitizer for customers, they're using disposable silverware, and disinfecting everything from pens to menus.

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