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Possibility of 5-Star variance has local restaurant owner excited

Pueblo leaders move forward with 5-star variance.
Pueblo leaders move forward with 5-star variance.(KKTV)
Published: Dec. 2, 2020 at 5:17 PM MST
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PUEBLO, Colo. (KKTV) - Local businesses are excited about the possibility of a five-star variance in Pueblo. This variance is currently in place in Mesa County and Pueblo wants to follow in their footsteps.

If this variance is approved by the state, it would mean some businesses would get to stay open if they followed certain requirements. Some of these include making sure masks are being worn while inside and having employees do daily symptom checks. These businesses would be allowed to run at 50 percent capacity but would need to space tables at least 10 feet apart.

11 News spoke to Heather Graham, the owner of Graham’s Grill and Ruby’s wine bar in Pueblo. She says Ruby’s wine bar has been closed since Pueblo County moved into the orange level on the state’s COVID-19 dial. Graham says she is doing about a tenth of the business they were doing before thanks to Facebook and advertising.

Graham fully backs the approval and hopes that it goes forward since her businesses have taken a hit when Pueblo moved into higher restrictions.

“I’m not saying that this should have been done earlier, but it needs to be done as quickly as possible. Any small steps in this direction will help us out. We can get out there and show we can do and how clean and see if we can be and this will allow us” says Graham.

Since the state released guidelines for how businesses and restaurants can operate during the pandemic to make people safe, Graham tells 11 News she has been strictly following them and looks forward to reopening.

“From day one since the state guidelines first came out with a temperature checking the symptom recording we’ve done that this entire time so there’s no doubt in my mind that we are 100 percent eligible that we will be able to open under these guidelines,” says Graham.

Both the city and council leaders have approved the resolution and are waiting on the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment for the next steps.

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