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First day of new dining rules

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Peoria, Ill. (WEEK) -- Beautiful weather on the first day of these new regulations helped the meals keep flowing from the kitchen to the patios in Peoria Heights.

"We've been able to build very wonderful, loyal clientele that has been incredibly supportive. They've given me the thumbs up and are very positive for us. They supported us last time and I think they will again," said Hearth Restaurant owner Hugh Higgins.

New COVID-19 restrictions say eating-out means eating outside.

Soon the weather will turn colder and carry out will be many resturants only options.

Kemp 208 is learning from their successes during the first shut-down and preparing new strategies.

"We already have our new menu ready to go next week with the carry out, the dinners for two, all the stuff we did last time that was successful," said owner Cathy Kemp.

Dac's smokehouse said they were blown away by support they received back in March.

They're relying on that same support now.

"Go to your restaurants and support them by getting carry out and curb side service. If you don't want to come inside we'll bring it out to you," said Matthew White, owner of Dac's.

Not everyone is falling in line with the new rules though.

While the owners we spoke to said they respect others' decision to stay open, they think local leadership is giving those places a false sense of hope.

"The mayors that are saying stay open don't give liquor license, food license, gambling license. They don't have that much power," said White.

"We're all in this together. We want this to go away. To make this to go away we have to play by the rules," said Higgins.

Indoor dining is closed for at least two weeks or until the region's positivity rate falls below 6.5% for three straight days.

Alex Menke

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