Health Commissioner looks for more restaurant flexibility during the pandemic


FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Businesses continue to take a hit during the pandemic; however, Dr. Matthew Sutter is trying to soften the blow with restaurant owners.

Tuesday, Dr. Sutter, Allen County Commissioner Nelson Peters, president and managing partner of ObiCai restaurant group, James Khan met to discuss how to move forward if Allen County returns to red.

In the early stages of the pandemic, Dr.Sutter’s health order shut down restaurants and bars completely and when they reopened, they were limited to a 50 percent maximum capacity. According to the health commissioner he is trying to find a way to avoid that happening again.

“What I learned from some of the restaurant owners is maybe we can go to 75 percent and maybe still have the 6-foot distancing that the governor is requesting,” Dr. Sutter said.

Dr. Sutter added that he was impressed with the steps Proximo has taken to ensure the safety of its patrons. Khan explained to Dr. Sutter and Commissioner Peters how his business is able to maintain social distance, has a contact tracing system, and uses QR Code menus.

Khan said he is happy to have the opportunity to speak with Dr. Sutter and it means a great deal to know that he cares enough about the industry and staff to consider their thoughts before drafting another order.

ObiCai owns the Hoppy Gnome, Próximo, and Bakerstreet Steakhouse.

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