Updated: June 05, 2020 09:05 AM
Created: May 27, 2020 03:04 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- Restaurants in New Mexico scrambled to reopen after the governor announced outdoor seating would be permitted.
The general manager at O'Neill's in Albuquerque said it's been more than two months since customers have been seated at the restaurant.
"It's been tough. It's been really tough," Skyler Whitehead said.
Whitehead said he got the news about patios being allowed to reopen from one of his employees.
"One of my bartenders here sent me a text message, and then I had to do some research online," he said.
After only doing take-out orders to stay afloat, Whitehead said he worked fast to make sure his patio was ready for customers.
"And then my phone started blowing up with - you know - upper management, staff, guests, who were excited to open today," he said.
O'Neill's has 16 patio seats available to meet those state guidelines. After the tables fill up, customers will have to wait outside until a table opens up.
"I just can't wait to start doing some real sales and putting money back into people's pockets," Whitehead said.
Not every restaurant has been as fortunate to survive the shutdown. According to the New Mexico Restaurant Association, more than 200 eateries across the state of closed for good.
Copyright 2020 - KOB-TV LLC, A Hubbard Broadcasting Company