Local businesses excited to open as the state enters Phase 4 of Restore Illinois

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CENTRAL ILLINOIS (WMBD) — Friday is a big day for Illinois businesses as the state enters Phase 4 of Restore Illinois.

Many local owners said they’ve been spending the past few days adding the final touches on their businesses before they open their doors again.

Amanda Fell, general manager of Morton Cinemas, came into work Thursday sanitizing and wiping down surfaces. She said the theater’s been closed since mid-March and she’s happy the day has finally come to reopen.

“Tomorrow is it,” Fell said. “We are so excited to get back at it and serving our community. We love Morton.”

The new phase allows entertainment venues like Fell’s theater and other performing arts centers to reopen with 50% capacity and social distancing. Fell said in addition to extra cleaning, she’s limiting the number of people per theater and spacing out seating.

“We are opening with a smaller capacity,” Fell said. “Having 50 per theater and some of our smaller theaters even less than that because we do have two smaller theaters.”

Bowling alleys like Potter’s Alley in Morton can also see a return to business, but at half the capacity they’re used to. Richard Jones, owner of Potter’s Alley, said he’s gotten numerous calls from the public wanting to come back and the staff has made adjustments to the alley to implement social distancing.

“We have areas lined out for different bowling areas,” Jones said. “We will sign out up to six people per lane and we’re going to skip every other lane.”

Jones also said bowlers will have to leave their rented shoes and bowling balls in place, when they’re finished bowling, for the staff to collect. He said the staff will be cleaning the areas in between games, spreading out tables for indoor dining and they’re currently not going to take reservations.

Phase 4 also means zoos and museums can reopen with 25% capacity and restaurants can transition back to indoor dining with tables six feet apart. Pat Sullivan, owner of Kelleher’s Irish Pub & Eatery said they’re also prepping for people to come back inside.

“We’re trying to stay healthy and safe,” Sullivan said. “We’ll be doing the tables six foot distancing.”

Sullivan said he has a company coming into his restaurant to spray down the tables and kill old germs and bacteria. He and other owners said, come Friday, they’re ready to get back to business.

“Let’s move forward,” Sullivan said.

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