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Roux 61 serving dine-in customers again under new rules

NATCHEZ — Roux 61 Seafood & Grill on U.S. 61 South in Adams County reopened its doors for dine-in service on Friday with other Mississippi restaurants after Gov. Tate Reeves announced Monday that some COVID-19 restrictions would be lifted starting last Thursday.

Those used to dining in at Roux 61 pre-pandemic had a slightly different experience there as the restaurant staffers operate under guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Customers are asked to wait inside their vehicles until their table is ready. A sign at the restaurant entrance outlines procedures and ask whether they have experienced any of the disease symptoms listed on the sign before they are allowed to enter the building.

A large bottle of hand sanitizer sits by the front door, all of the servers and staff members wear masks, disposable cups and utensils are used at the tables and parties are seated between empty tables to be socially distanced from other customers.

“We are following all of the rules from the CDC,” front house manager Danielle Fife said. “Friday at 11 a.m. we opened the doors. The hours have changed. Friday and Saturday will be 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and as of right now we are closed on Monday and will reopen on Tuesday from 11 to 8 p.m.”

Fife said because of the social distancing guidelines, the restaurant can only be filled with a little less than half its capacity of customers.

“Half of our capacity that we’ve had before — so 175 people is the maximum number that we are allowed to seat but they still have to be 6 feet apart and we do that first. We’re a little under the maximum because of the 6-foot rule.”

Roux 61 never closed entirely but only offered curbside service until Friday, Fife said. All of the restaurants serving staff went home while dine-in services were closed, she said, but were all able to return once they reopened.

“We are doing curbside still where the cones are on the oyster bar side of the restaurant, so people can call and place their order and pull in to the drive-thru and their food will be brought out to their car. We are also seating no more than 6 people at a table. Anyone that was ready to come back to work came back to work.”

As of Friday, restaurants located within the City of Natchez are limited to drive-thru, curbside and delivery service at least until May 31 per a resolution by the Natchez Mayor and Board of Aldermen that was put into effect on May 1.