Little Rock restaurants concerned White House dining limits could close their doors

Local News

LITTLE ROCK, Ark.- New federal recommendations on dealing with the coronavirus has some Little Rock restaurant owners concerned their already challenged businesses may have to close up shop.

The White House released an updated Coronavirus Task Force report that was made public Wednesday, giving a summary of how Arkansas is doing and offering recommendations on changes the state should make.

One of those recommendations includes limiting restaurants indoor capacity once again, though Katherine Eldridge, owner of Doe’s Eat Place in Little Rock, believes it’s not about the percentage of capacity that matters.

“I think what matters is if restaurants are spacing their tables and keeping that distance between everyone so they are safe,” she said.

Eldridge explained that Doe’s never opened up to more than 60 percent capacity, noting that they simply couldn’t make it work with spacing.

The White House is now recommending that indoor dining be limited to 25 percent, something Governor Asa Hutchinson said he won’t do, adding that following that recommendation would mean hundreds of restaurants across Arkansas would have to close their doors.

Eldrige said her spot, which has been serving customers since 1988, would fall on that list.

“We’re barely surviving now and if we’re knocked down to just 25 percent then there’s no reason for us to stay open, we just can’t do it.”

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