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Local bars preparing for increased capacity limits

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cask and ale

MADISON (WKOW) -- With decreased restrictions taking effect this week in PHMDC's new public health order, some bar owners are optimistic.

"Starting Wednesday next week, when we can, I think we're going to be going back to seven days a week," Ken Boll, Cask and Ale owner, said.

That's something that was almost a dream for him.

Cask and Ale had to shut down completely at times throughout the pandemic because of capacity restrictions and cold weather.

"It's been a rough year but I'm glad to see the 75 percent, cause it'll just make us possibly be able to make some profit, finally, after a year," Boll said.

He says with his staff fully vaccinated, it'll just be a matter of making sure customers stay safe.

"Distance, safety and cleanliness, and we've got a big window we can open in the summer that allows a lot of fresh air circulating air in here, too," Boll said. "So we're ready for it and just excited to get back at it and hopefully getting back to serving drinks and having fun with people."

Even though they'll be able to have 75 percent capacity, Boll says he doesn't know if they'll be able to fit 90 people inside with proper social distancing, but he still says it's great news for him.

However, some say they're still not ready yet.

"100 percent is where we want to be because that to me is the OK, no-holds-barred, it's time to rock and roll," Andrea Hillsey, Square Wine Company owner, said.

Hillsey says they haven't had it as bad as other places, so they're not in a rush to fill seats.

She expects them to slowly phase back to allowing people to have wine inside, waiting until more people are vaccinated.

"Folks that are waiting to get vaccinated, I don't want them to get FOMO, missing out on a tasting, or that they have to risk anything to come taste wine that they wouldn't be able to taste, so we're just going to play it by ear and wait a little bit longer," Hillsey said.

The new public health order starts Wednesday. Right now, bars are only able to be open at 25% capacity and restaurants at 50%.

Francisco Almenara

Reporter, WKOW

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