Health officials allow patrons to dine, no service permitted
Diners were spotted in outdoor spaces this past weekend, such as at Elk Avenue Prime in Crested Butte. Courtesy
Diners were spotted in outdoor spaces this past weekend, such as at Elk Avenue Prime in Crested Butte. Courtesy

Even before the state drafted modified restrictions for restaurants, Gunnison County health officials this weekend took steps to allow restaurants with outdoor areas to utilize those spaces. Guidance was given from Health and Human Services Director Joni Reynolds to restaurants with patios and other outdoor dining space to allow customers to be seated after picking up food. The move comes as Gov. Jared Polis considers draft recommendations with similar guidelines for restaurants statewide.

Restaurant owners such as Gunnison’s Garlic Mike’s Michael Busse and Elk Avenue Prime’s Curtis Higgins took advantage of the news, opening their outdoor dining after receiving word from Public Health.

“It’s ok, but it’s not great,” said Prime’s Higgins, noting that this particular week is one of the toughest for his business annually. He is considering using the same model off-season in the future.

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