With COVID-19 protocols eased, business owners welcome back Sunday football customers

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WEBSTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Fans aren’t the only ones happy to be back in the stands and gathering at their favorite bars to watch NFL football; business owners are too. Not having COVID restrictions has been a big win for The Coach sports bar in Webster.

Being "at capacity" was impossible for businesses last year. COVID decided the rules on how they could play. A year later, they’re serving up a full house and just in time for the Bills season opener.

Coach bar owner Fritz Sierk told News10NBC, "The stress that was on all the employees because of masking and making sure people wore them, it’s wonderful not having that stress anymore; it was awful.”

Table by table, everyone we spoke to agreed that it’s been great not having the stress of COVID protocols.

"What these restaurants went through, they deserve the business and to keep it going, no more masks, no more masks,” customer Rich Francini said.

"I’ve been coming here through the whole thing, I just didn’t live a protected life, but I wore my mask and did what I was supposed to do. But it’s nice to have the energy back; that’s what I like. When we used to have six feet, it just wasn’t the same energy,” Steve Mikula added.

Any business will tell you having to jump through hoops of different restrictions was tough. It was even harder trying to make ends meet. But, COVID challenges are still lingering.

“With the other forms of COVID coming out, again, people are a little scared, but sometimes it brings them out, because they think they might have to go home again. So we’re busy, but, as you can see, we’re doing well,” Sierk said.

When events like a Bills game are going on, it eases the mind of business owners like Sierk, to know that they can welcome everyone inside without the fear of breaking pandemic protocols.

"Not having to space apart and worrying about how many people are in and if they’re wearing masks and stuff, it’s very nice being wide open,” Sierk added.

We asked Sierk if he’s considering checking vaccination cards at the door, and he says he trusts his customers and doesn’t foresee his business doing it