A sign shows where to enter the new wait line seen here on Wednesday  before the reopening of Les’ Dairy Bar on East Main Street in Meriden. The ice cream shop’s owner Debra DiGiandomenico said she is aiming to reopen today.Photos by Bailey Wright, Record-Journal

Les’ Dairy Bar in Meriden looks to reopen with new rules

Les’ Dairy Bar in Meriden looks to reopen with new rules

Les’ Dairy Bar in Meriden looks to reopen with new rules

reporter photo

By Bailey Wright

Record-Journal staff

MERIDEN — Les’ Dairy Bar owner is aiming for a Saturday reopening. 

Debra DiGiandomenico, who has owned the ice cream shop for almost 40 years, said the opening depends largely on when certain supplies are available. 

“It's a Catch-22. I'm getting so many people asking me ‘are you gonna, are you gonna, are you gonna (open),’” DiGiandomenico said. “I'm scared. I'm very uncomfortable. I don't want to get (COVID-19) …. I don’t want my (employees) getting it.”

As a takeout business without tables or wait staff, the dairy bar does not have to adhere to the same state-mandated guidelines as restaurants with outdoor seating, but DiGiandomenico said she’s following as many as she can. 

This includes a new wait line setup with ropes to maintain a six-foot buffer between customers.

Customers will order and pay at one window, then wait at a second for their order. Employees will wear masks and change gloves often, DiGiandomenico said. 

“It’s gonna be a lot slower … probably a lot more mistakes and confusion,” she said. 

DiGiandomenico opened the shop for the season in late March, but closed after one day due to some backlash from the community. Although certain rules were set beforehand about social distancing and masks, a mass of customers made them difficult to enforce. 

This time around,DiGiandomenico said she plans to be more strict. All patrons must wear masks and only one person from a family should stand in line, two if necessary, for carrying orders. 

People will not be allowed to sit outside. Purses and other personal items should not be placed on the counters while ordering. 

While closed, staff did some cleanup, including repainting the building, the parking lot and the guardrail.



Twitter: @baileyfaywright

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