GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) -Restaurant owners in Green Bay are implementing big changes to keep patrons safe during the pandemic. 

This, as governors in Florida and Texas are scaling back access to restaurants and bars once again after a surge in coronavirus cases. 

“We always wanted to wait until we had everything in place to bring people back into our facility,” said Thomas Johnson, general manager of Badger State Brewing Company. 

The brewery opened its beer garden to in-person customers on Thursday; but are mindful as COVID-19 continues to infect people locally and nationally. 

“Outdoors only feels good, the numbers are not crazy in our area. I know Florida and Texas and some other places are really spiking, but that’s part of the reason why we’re enforcing these distancing guidelines,” said Johnson. 

The beer garden has the seating area spaced out and hand sanitizing stations available. 

The tap room is closed because Badger State Brewing is planning for the future. Johnson says a new hospital grade HVAC system has been installed in the taproom and UV lighting will be installed to help eliminate the virus.

The brewery’s neighbor, Burkel’s One Block Over, is making the same investment. 

“It’s really not that expensive, as far as a safety standpoint, it’s worth the investment it really is,” said Owner, Kevin Burkel. 

He’s also implemented some changes, but is leaving the option to wear masks up to customers and staff. 

“We don’t use menus anymore, it’s all paper menus. Salt and pepper shakers they bring to the tables,” said Burkel. 

Steps now necessary to avoid government intervention. 

“I don’t think they can shut us down again legally, but I don’t know. Is that possible, I guess it could be. They’re doing it in Texas, they’re doing it in Florida again. I just hope it doesn’t get to that,” said Burkel. 

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