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Local restaurants adapt to outdoor-only seating

Restaurants are finding creative ways to keep business going despite being limited to outdoor seating only.

Elmer's in Palm Springs has put tents on the front lawn to expand the outdoor dining experience. The River at Rancho Mirage also allowed Babe's BBQ and Brewhouse to expand outdoor seating onto the walkway.

“Carol is a really good cook, but it’s still nice to have something different,” said Leonard Weston, a customer at Babe's and Palm Desert resident.

“Something Different is nice for me too… a break from cooking,” said Carolyn Weston, also a customer at Babe's and Palm Desert resident.

Restaurants are adapting to outdoor-only seating after Governor Newsom ordered indoor spaces to be closed for at least 3 weeks on Wednesday. One local couple says they feel safer outside anyway.

“It’s also very enjoyable until it gets..." started Leonard Weston.

“Until it gets 100 degrees, it’s nice outside,” Carolyn finished.

Despite the heat, customers are just happy to still be able to dine-out. The same goes for restaurants.

“I went to Costco after the Governor made the announcement and I got four gazebos and then one of my employees had some and we just started putting the patio tables out and then moved the dining room tables to the patio sides,” said Jacky Donnell, owner of Elmer’s.

“I saw the tents up and I was so excited I literally took my hands off the wheel and started clapping,” said Patricia Jernigan, a customer at Elmer's and Palm Springs resident.

“It was a rollercoaster of emotions and a roller coaster of a day with employees calling about what was going to happen, but fortunately we were able to recover an additional 40 seats here outside,” said Richard Delaney of Babe's BBQ and Brewhouse.

Keedy’s in Palm Desert has also been thinking of ways it can expand outdoor seating.

“The availability of outdoor seating, unfortunately right now in our community it’s going to make a difference for these businesses, if they’re able to stay open or not,” said Kelly Emmer, Marketing Director of Keedy's Fountain & Grill.

This pandemic has been tough on the restaurant industry and these local restaurants are thankful for the community’s support. 

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Taylor Begley

Taylor Begley is a Sports Anchor and Reporter for KESQ News Channel 3. You can also catch her anchoring weather on the weekends. Learn more about Taylor here.

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