More restaurants make in-person dining available as state reopens

Breanna Cataldo, General Assignment Reporter

On May 15, Governor Ron DeSantis announced that Florida restaurants, along with libraries, museums and retail stores, may serve customers at 50% capacity starting May 18. 

Before this announcement, some restaurants were participating in 25% capacity already. While some establishments have remained take-out only, others have opened their doors for indoor and outdoor seating (while following the capacity guidelines). 

If you’re looking for a dine-in experience, or simply just want to know what restaurants are participating in indoor seating, look no longer. 

Listed below are a few breakfast, lunch and dinner options that are allowing people to eat inside. 



Metro Diner: Although Metro Diner is open until 8 p.m., the business is most known for their breakfast menu. The diner has opened its doors to 50% capacity. If you feel more comfortable calling for take-out, the restaurant is still taking orders to go as well. 

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store: Alongside Metro Diner, Cracker Barrel is also seating people at 50% capacity. 

“We are glad to welcome you back to our dining room,” said the automated message that plays when you call. 

Maple Street: The biscuit company has also decided to allow people inside at 50% capacity. People may still order online and Maple Street even offers delivery through Uber Eats and other third-party delivery apps.

IHOP: If you were missing sitting in and enjoying your classic eggs, bacon and pancakes, IHOP has you covered. Like the previous restaurants mentioned above, IHOP is allowing people breakfast inside at 50% capacity.   



Bento Cafe: While take-out ad call-ins are still preferred, Bento opened its doors to customers. The restaurant has taken precaution in every way possible. The cafe has even labeled one door has “Entrance Only” and the other, on the other side of the cafe, as “Exit Only”. Some booths and tables are marked off and unable to be sat at, that way it makes 50% capacity a little easier to control. 

Pita Pit: If you miss your late night campus pita, Pita Pit in Jacksonville Beach is open and allowing people to dine in. The menus are the same, and they are limiting their dining room to 50% capacity. 

Cantina Louie: The restaurant opened its doors a week later than others at 25% capacity, but were prepared to raise it to 50%. Since opening to half of their capacity, Cantina Louie has marked off certain tables and booths, similar to Bento, though outside seating is free-range. 

The Loop Pizza Grill: The Loop is open at 50% capacity, and has three possible locations for people to dine in at. There’s one location in Jacksonville Beach, one on Beach Blvd and another in St. Johns Town Center. To order online, or just to get directions, you can use Apple or Google Maps. 



El Potro Mexican Restaurant: Customers can take their Taco Tuesdays inside at El Potro. The restaurant is limiting its dining room to 50% capacity, and has certain booths roped off to prevent people from sitting too close to each other. There are tables outside available as well. 

Miller’s Ale House: The Zinger Mountain Melt can now be eaten inside at Ale House. The business is open at 50% capacity, and also has certain tables and booths customers aren’t allowed to sit at. 

Al’s Craft Pizza Company: Currently Al’s is only allowing 25% of its capacity indoors. The company makes sure to allow no parties bigger than six, and is practicing social distancing throughout the restaurant. 

Taco-Lu: This popular taco spot in Jacksonville Beach opened its doors to 50% this week. Taco-Lu is first come, first serve, at the moment. The company also enforces that there are no parties larger than ten, and in order to be seated your whole party must arrive at the same time. 

Restaurants opening is a big deal to many, but the establishments legally must obey the guidelines set by CDC and Governor Ron DeSantis. These guidelines may cause businesses to have a wait, or even close early. If you want to be sure you’ll get a seat, calling ahead is an option for most establishments. 


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