The Purple Cow on Chenal Parkway awaits customers at dinner time.

Arkansas Times photographer Brian Chilson dropped in a few restaurants at dinner time May 11, when the state lifted its prohibition against indoor and patio dining it had put in place to stem the spread of COVID-19. He found staff obeying new health department guidelines requiring them to be masked and gloved. At the three places he visited, the takeout business was greater than the dine-in.

Restaurants must operate at no more than 1/3 capacity. As Governor Hutchinson stressed in his press conference today, customers must wear masks until after they order. (Apparently, there was confusion on that point on the part of both restaurants and spokespeople for the governor and the state Department of Health.) Seating must be such that diners are 6 feet apart from diners at other tables.

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