RICHMOND HEIGHTS, Mo. (KMOV.com) - Businesses across St. Louis County are scrambling ahead of a new round of restrictions that were announced by St. Louis County Executive Sam Page.
Page announced seven new initiatives Monday to stop the spread of COVID-19. They go into effect Friday at 5 p.m.
The announcement is forcing bars, such as Mike Duffy's Pub and Grill in Richmond Heights, to make major adjustments. Just as business was slowly getting back to normal, Mike Duffy says he's now forced to change operations again.
“It's a battle and it seems like we're battling our own government,” said Duffy. “I don't know why this is happening. We are here to serve customers and we've done everything we can to take care of them and our employees.”
Page says the initiatives are in response to what he calls an "alarming" rise in cases.
He's ordering all businesses to reduce capacity to 25 percent, bars must close at 10 p.m. and gatherings are limited to 50 people. Duffy and some patrons fear the restrictions will be detrimental for business.
“We don't operate on that great of a margin and when you lose any amount of business, it drops straight to your bottom line, it's hard to make a living and that's what we're concerned about,” Duffy said.
I think it's crazy absurd, there's no need for any of this,” said Mike Duffy’s customer Ken Riggs.
A few miles away at Herbie's restaurant in Clayton, customer Steve Novik says he's glad the county is cracking down.
“From the standpoint of public health and safety, I think we have a responsibility to take the steps necessary to stem the increase in cases,” Novik said.
“Our initial reaction was we just hope he doesn't close us down because that would have been an understandable action,” said Herbie's owner Aaron Teitelbaun.
Teitelbaum owns Herbie's and Kingside Diner. He says he was relieved to hear he could stay open. He says his business model won't change much but fears for smaller restaurants already on the brink of closing.
“My friends with small restaurants, I keep them in my thoughts and my prayers because I am concerned,” he said.
The restrictions are expected to last about four weeks.
More details will be released later this week.