MIDDLEBURG — A wary Vinnie Picciurro will open his eponymous restaurant Friday morning to eat-in diners just as Snyder County moves into the green phase amid COVID-19.
"I'll be honest with you, I don't know how I feel about it," said the owner of Vinnie's Pizza and Italian Restaurant on Main Street in Middleburg. "I'd rather wait until all the counties are green so we don't get people from the yellow and red areas coming here. People travel and a lot of counties are still red."
Snyder County Commissioner Joe Kantz said he's heard similar concerns from business owners and residents.
"There's a lot of trepidation," he said.
To keep people from counties who have not been moved into the green zone by the state from visiting Snyder County offices, Kantz said, the courthouse in Middleburg and other county offices are open only by appointment.
Picciurro has been offering takeout and local delivery during the state shutdown but he will open his 70-seat dining room to about 25 patrons at a time beginning at 11 a.m. Friday. Deliveries are no longer being provided.
The restaurant is staffed by Picciurro, his wife, son and daughter and, like other business owners, he's taking steps to keep employees and patrons safe and healthy.
He's installed plexiglass at the counter, is requiring all employees in the public areas of the restaurant to wear masks and strongly encouraging customers to do the same.
"My wife is very particular about this," said Picciurro. His wife has the family remove work clothes in the garage before entering their home.
Kantz doesn't expect an immediate rush on people wanting to patronize businesses that have been closed since mid-March.
"I don't think it will be a lot different at first," he said. "There are just too many unknowns, especially at restaurants."