Restaurants return to indoor dining

Champaign County

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA)–Some restaurants couldn’t wait to bring customers back in. Others said they’ll be taking their time. Now that Champaign County is open for indoor dining again, some are wondering if it’s even worth it.

Derrick Aikman, who co-owns The Bread Company, previously adapted their restaurant for takeout and delivery. He said they aren’t going to be quick to abandon a format they’ve been accustomed to now for months.

“We went with the idea of opening inside again before,” Aikman said. “We had to staff up, but when everything came back down because numbers were up, it changed us again.”

Other restaurants in town are also taking their time reopening. The manager at the Himalayan Chimney, Thapa Sahil, said many restaurants are short-staffed given how quickly the restrictions were lifted. He said their restaurant would rather remain closed and take their time bringing employees up to speed, instead of overworking themselves to serve indoors.

“Whenever we get the type of manpower to operate normally, we’ll open back up,” Thapa said.

But some restaurants truly couldn’t have waited sooner.

‘A Taste of Both World’s’ is a new restaurant in Urbana that has been waiting for months to be cleared to open for indoor dining. They said the pandemic has forced them to put aside their plans for a grand opening.

“We wanted to get a band in here to play, and we wanted people to be able to enjoy their food indoors because that serves us better,” co-owner Louey Kim said.

Despite the setback, Kim said the restaurant will be planning for more specials in the near future, given that another shutdown doesn’t go into effect within the next few months.

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