Downtown Mobile restaurants begin to reopen to customers


MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — Businesses across Alabama are now allowed to reopen their doors for the first time in nearly eight weeks after some restrictions were eased under Governor Kay Ivey’s amended “Safer at Home” order.

Governor Ivey announced the amendments last week, which allows more businesses to open up starting Monday, May 11, but with restrictions. Athletic facilities, like gyms and fitness centers, can reopen. So can barber shops, salons and tattoo services.

Restaurants, bars and breweries also make the cut to reopen their doors again.

“It’s exciting, it’s a beautiful thing,” said Tony Sawyer, owner of Bob’s Downtown Restaurant. He continued, “people can actually get back to work now. We can get some type of normalcy going again, which is great”

Bob’s Downtown Restaurant reopened its doors again early Monday morning, to the delight of its customers.

“At 7 o’clock, when the doors open, there’s 9 people standing there waiting to get their food. They wanted to be the first ones in the restaurant,” said Sawyer.

But, there is still concern if business will go back to normal.

“Are people going to get out and about more, are they going to explore more options? Are they going to go back to things that they used to do before? That’s unknown where we’re at,” said Sawyer.

The restaurant was forced to close its doors in March, due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Nearly eight weeks later, they’re relieved to be back.

“Being closed down for such a long period of time it hurts your morale more than anything else,” said Sawyer.

Last month, Sawyer took down every single dollar bill that papered the walls of his restaurant, to give to his out of work employees.

When he announced his reopening on social media, many were delighted.

“Some good comments in there, I’m going to be the first one there, my dollar’s going back up on the wall. It was exciting,” said Sawyer.

They’re following all of the guidelines from the governor, tables outside are 6 feet apart, inside, they’re at half capacity.

But they’re just happy to have the doors open once again.

“Together as a family, downtown Mobile, we need to get going again! It’s been desolate for too long out here. I’m excited about it,” said Sawyer.

All of the businesses that can reopen, must adhere to social distancing and sanitation guidelines put down by the state.

“We’re going to follow guidelines set forth by the Health Department. And kind of ease back on into it, I believe that’s what they want us to do, so I think that’s what we’re all going to do,” said Sawyer.

You can see the full amended “Safer at Home” order here.


Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

State Cases State Deaths

Latest Videos

More Video

More Local News

3-Day Forecast

Trending Stories