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Irmo restaurants weigh in on reopening outside areas

Mayor Walker proposed Irmo restaurants reopen outside areas in the town.

IRMO, S.C. — Restaurants in the Town of Irmo may have reason to be hopeful.

Mayor Barry Walker proposed in a meeting Wednesday night that they would like to allow all restaurants in their town to open their outdoor areas for service.

“The bottom line is we're going to do stuff to bring you as close to back to normal or get you marching in that direction as quickly as possible," Mayor Walker said, "So if we can start by just putting tables outside six feet apart using your CDC guidelines- let’s do that and see how it works out.”

Local favorite Mathias Sandwich Shop says it would be on board, “I wouldn’t mind personally if they make it legal-I’m not going to do anything illegal," owner Sammy Mathias told Street Squad.

Hemingway’s Music Pub co-owner Rocco Bellino loves the idea but isn’t on the same page,“I know there was a restaurant in North Myrtle that opened up and said heck we’re going to open up for patio and parking lot dining or whatever and SLED came by and issued them a warning and said if we come back we’re taking your business license," Bellino continues, "So, it doesn’t matter what the Mayor says, if SLED comes in here- they don’t work for the mayor, they work for the governor.”

RELATED: Town of Irmo plans on outdoor restaurant seating as early as this weekend

RELATED: Guidelines for reopening restaurants submitted to the governor

Bellino says he’s glad the town is trying to help but he doesn’t want to risk it until the governor gives the ‘go ahead,' “I’m very happy with it and I love the idea- I just have a business license to worry about.”

Sammy Mathias likes the idea but just hopes they don’t have to do this all again,“If it takes more weeks of what we’re doing now, I’d rather do that than to open too soon.”

RELATED: Columbia Chamber creates 'playbook' for businesses reopening after COVID-19

RELATED: Irmo Boy Scout making PPE equipment for local hospitals

An emergency meeting to approve the resolution will take place at 5:30 Thursday evening. You can watch it live on the Town's Youtube page.

 If you have any story ideas or information on things happening around town, contact us at StreetSquad@wltx.com or tweet us using the hashtag #StreetSquad19.