Restaurant owners working out new mask policies | WHEC.com

Restaurant owners working out new mask policies

Patrick Moussignac
Updated: May 21, 2021 11:49 PM
Created: May 21, 2021 10:20 PM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Different restaurants have different rules when it comes to their masking policies.

It's only been three days as of Friday since the state adapted its mask mandate to follow the new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines saying fully vaccinated people don't need to wear masks in most situations both indoors, and outdoors.

News10NBC heard from some local restaurant owners, and where they stand on this mask issue. They say while they want to fill every available seat, they still need to protect their customers and staff. 

When it comes to their masking policy, Kainos Restaurant on Exchange Boulevard makes it absolutely clear. The sign on their front door says, "Kainos is not in the business of policing who has a vaccine, and who doesn't." Owner Jeffrey Scott requires every customer to wear a mask regardless of their vaccination status.

"I don't want to be responsible if somebody else gets sick because they weren't vaccinated to other people that were," Scott said. "I don't want to have the responsibility, so the best thing to do is: Come in here, you have to wear a mask."

Scott says he's seen backlash already from some customers who refuse to wear one.

"'I come to your restaurant to eat,' I said 'Yes, but you have to wear a mask.' 'Well I’m not gonna wear a mask.' I said, 'Well then I'm sorry I can't help you,'" Scott said.

Other restaurants have their own take on masking. Rooney's Restaurant on Henrietta Street is working on an honor system. Joe Squalli says he's following current CDC Guidelines.

"If you're fully vaccinated, it's not required, but it's recommended. We encourage people to wear their masks if they choose, assuming they are fully vaccinated," Squalli said.

We asked Squalli a hypothetical question, "Is it still worth having the honor system if one unvaccinated person infected another at his restaurant?"

"Yes, definitely that's a risk, but I'm relying on the CDC, and the state. They have the experts, and they are in the business. I'm assuming they already thought about these risks," Squalli said.

Management at The Old Stone Tavern on South Street tells News10NBC fully vaccinated people don't have to wear a mask at all. The same is true at The Hideaway on Park Avenue, but Owner Max Gordon said he's taking a cautious approach to this.

"If you're fully vaccinated all we ask is to show us proof whether the Excelsior Pass, the card, or even a picture on your phone. Our first, and foremost concern is the safety of our guests, and our staff," Gordon said.

Kainos Restaurant will give its customers a mask if they don't have one. The only requirement is that you wear it as you walk to and from your table.


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