The ever-changing landscape of the restaurant industry in Western New York has been a hardship for business owners. The moving target for guidelines and restrictions has been non-stop since the pandemic started and frustrations continue.

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Monday morning that there will be a major reopening of New York State, as capacity restrictions for most businesses would end on May 19th.

However, the CDC recommended six feet of social distancing would continue at local businesses and to some restaurant owners, which means absolutely nothing will change for their businesses, according to WIVB.

That included Jason Hall, the owner of Sportsmen Tavern in the Black Rock area of Buffalo.

“People will call me on the phone and say ‘well, isn’t your capacity increased?’ and I’m like no it’s not, our capacity isn’t increased at all because of the six-foot rule,” said Hall.

Santora’s Pizza Pub and Grill owner Paul Santora echoes the sentiment, saying that in order to increase the capacity at his restaurants, he would need to purchase plastic dividers.

It really depends on the size of a business. Some bars and restaurants are simply not big enough to be able to increase to full capacity if there's still a six-foot social distancing guideline, especially with a space as small as Sportsmen Tavern.

For now, it appears some restaurants will still be operating at a limited capacity.

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