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Waller's Smith Mountain Lake waits to reopen

(WDBJ)
Published: May. 15, 2020 at 5:09 PM EDT
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Some of our local restaurants are holding off on reopening. Waller's Smith Mountain Lake is just one example.

Waller's is a popular restaurant at the lake and the management team says if they were open, they'd be packed. But they say many factors went into their decision to wait until Phase 2 for reopening.

"Our biggest thing is making sure that we can deliver that guest experience and have that same quality of product," Ryan Walters, General Manager of Waller's, said.

Waller's has been serving customers at Smith Mountain Lake for nearly ten years. For Walters, it's about more than just the food. He says offering outdoor seating at half capacity under Phase 1 guidelines just didn't seem like enough.

"Waller's here, we try to provide an experience, we don't feel that we can offer that same experience under the current guidelines. At the same time, we also want to consider the safety of our employees and the guests," Walters said.

He says customers are used to sitting close to each other and dancing to live music, and none of that would be possible in Phase 1. As the dining area sits empty, the restaurant is also dealing with a food shortage.

"Shortages with our vendors was another big one. We really take a lot of pride in the quality that we offer at Waller's, especially when it comes to proteins, and that was something we were just not willing to compromise," Jaclyn Westfall, Bar and Floor Manager for Waller's, said.

She says the decision to wait until Phase 2 didn't come easy.

"It's been difficult, especially just having to put off seeing the community," Westfall asid.

The management team says they're hoping to open back up to the public in June with the start of Phase 2.

Copyright 2020 WDBJ7. All rights reserved.

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