Back To Business

Back To Business.

Restaurants Begin Dine-In Service As Phase Three Begins.

Cameron Hurst.

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Lisciandro’s Restaurant was one of several restaurants who began dine-in service on Tuesday as the Western New York Region transitioned to Phase Three of the state’s plan to re-open the economy. Phase Three also included the re-opening of personal services such as tattoo and piercing facilities, massage therapy, spas, tanning salons and cosmetology. P-J photo by Cameron Hurst.

In 58 years since John Lisciandro opened the North Main Street restaurant bearing his last name, he has experienced his fair share of hardships.

But even a 2014 fire that forced him to close for two weeks in order to restore and renovate his storefront pales in comparison to trying to survive the shutdown resulting from the outbreak of COVID-19.

“This is the hardest thing we’ve ever been through, without a doubt because of the changes and you didn’t know what to expect because you never knew when you were going to be busy,” he noted.

Lisciandro’s Restaurant was one of several area businesses that were able to welcome patrons to dine indoors as the Western New York region transitioned into Phase Three of the state’s plan to reopen the economy. Personal services such as tattoo and piercing facilities, massage therapy, spas, tanning salons and cosmetology.

Under the guidelines, restaurants are required to reduce their maximum occupancy by 50 percent, not including employees, and all tables indoors and outdoors must be at least six feet apart.

“We’re doing a little less than 50 percent due to the way the place is set up,” Lisciandro said of his restaurant’s situation. “We can do the high tops, but the front booths are closed. There are only five feet between the booths and the seats, so that booth is closed and I have two at the top open.”

Lisciandro had continued doing takeout business during the shutdown.

“It’s been steady,” he said. “It slowed down when Warren County opened up on weekends because people could go 15 minutes and sit down and eat. It’s been fair, though. I can’t complain. We haven’t had as many people working — it’s just been me and one other worker. … At most, me and two other people for most of the time.”

But, upon reopening their doors Tuesday for dine-in service, patrons who have frequented the restaurant for many years started coming back.

“It’s been fabulous,” he said. “They all came in at the regular times — they were back just as they should be. It’s been a very good morning. It’s just great to see everybody coming back in and supporting just like before.”

Most of all, Lisciandro is just happy to be back to some variation of normal work.

“I’m just glad to see the city of Jamestown coming along — thank God it’s open.”

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