CLAYON, Mo. (KMOV.com) -- St. Louis County officials announced Friday the relaxing of restrictions for businesses across the county. This includes eliminating curfews for restaurants, bars and casinos. 

The amended Safer at Home Order also allows arcade games to be played at places like movie theaters, arcades and bowling alleys. That's as long as they're separated from dining areas, for customers to stay social distanced.

The other guideline change is for outdoor youth and adult sports. Previously, players didn't have to wear masks while practicing or playing, but officiators did. Now, those officiating can remove their face coverings, only if they're outdoors. 

"For us to stay in business, honestly, it was a matter of, we had to figure out and get creative," Ande Pietoso said. He is the co-owner of Cafe Napoli in Clayton. He also owns Napoli 2 in Town and Country and Napoli III in St. Charles. 

He says creativity is what's kept his business alive throughout the pandemic. "I'm a small, family-owned restaurant, you know We're 3,000 square feet of dining, and when everything has to be six-feet apart, that's very hard," Pietoso explained. 

This is just one of the many challenges Cafe Napoli has faced during the last year. While businesses are still operating at 50 percent capacity in St. Louis County, Pietoso says he's slowly seeing things change. 

"The regulars that have been supporting us through curbside in the last year, it's so good to see them coming in the restaurant and feeling safe enough to do that, but it's definitely because of their vaccines," Pietoso continued. 

Pietoso says he's starting to see business get back to normal, however there's one major hurdle he hasn't been able to overcome. "We usually have about 80 staff members when we're up and running about normal capacity, right now I've got 40. I would like to have 60 right now, but I can't find the help," Pietoso said. 

There's no telling when restrictions in the county will relax even further. 

For now, St. Louis City hasn't announced changes to its guidelines. Businesses there still close at midnight. 

Copyright 2021 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved

 

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