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A family-owned restaurant of nearly 50 years is hopeful for future generations as restrictions lighten

Indoor dining can increase from 25 to 50% starting Saturday in Shelby County.

MEMPHIS, Tenn — Dino's Grill in Midtown has been serving their best family recipes for almost 50 years. The owner, Mario Grisanti, knows the restaurant business can be tough. However, his family has been in the business for four generations, so he's using what they've learned over the years to keep going.

"We're following the rules and doing what we can to stay open and keep people fed," Grisanti said.

With this place being so special to their family, they want to keep business going for even more generations to come. Grisanti said they've had to adapt quickly to new directives from the Shelby County Health Department. 

"You’ve got to have a rainy day fund," Grisanti said. "Luckily, we’ve been here long enough to where we’ve got great clientele that comes in and we really appreciate them."

Starting Saturday, Dino's dining room will be able to have a few more people inside to enjoy a meal. Under the newest and less strict health directive, indoor dining capacity can increase from 25 to 50%. 

"The more people we can get in hopefully the more revenue we can pull," Grisanti said.

Included in health directive no. 17:

  • Indoor dining capacity will be increased from 25% to 50%, but masks are still required unless you are eating and drinking.
  • There's still a limit for seating at a table to six people, tables must be six feet apart, and no one can stay longer than two hours at a time.
  • Restaurants must still close at 10 p.m. each night, curbside takeout still encouraged.
  • Live entertainment is permitted but performers must be 18 feet apart, and band members must be separated by six feet.
  • Indoor dancing is still not allowed and outdoor dancing is allowed if it's members of same household six feet apart.
  • Smoking indoors remains prohibited as well as vaping and hookah use.

While the directives are always evolving, restaurant owners are happy when they can get at least a few more tables of hungry customers. 

"Just having the opportunity to seat more people in the restaurant is a good thing," Grisanti said.

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