‘It feels normal’: Boardwalk restaurants busy on first weekend reopen


CAROLINA BEACH, NC (WWAY) — Local restaurants kicked off the unofficial start to summer by reopening their dining rooms.

Phase two of reopening North Carolina allowed the businesses to open at 50% capacity after being closed for two months.

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And with Carolina Beach allowing short term rentals, many visitors came to the beach for the holiday weekend.

“Oh my goodness. I was getting nauseous being home all the time. So finally we back, this is good,” Durham resident Zak Ghanayem said. “Everybody seems like they’re healthy. Haven’t seen anybody coughing thankfully. So we’re good, we’re good.”

They say they knew exactly what they were going to do when they heard restaurants could reopen.

“Cold beer, hot summer day. Absolutely that was the first thing on my list,” Fayetteville resident Patrick Reynolds said.

Reynolds says he’s glad to be out of the house.

“It’s great. We shouldn’t be sitting in our house living our boring lives,” he said. “Get out here and live your best life, absolutely.”

Another visitor says he’s been looking forward to dining out for a while.

“It’s been months. I was ready to go out and eat. I was tired of cooking so this is a great experience,” Lexington resident Troy McElrath said.

McElrath says it’s good to feel normal.

“It feels normal sitting outside, but I understand that you can’t have more than 50% inside the restaurant,” he said. “So it is a little different, but it’s better now that you can actually eat out.”