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Portland-area restaurant and bar owners confused about governor's plan to reopen amid coronavirus

Restaurant and bar owners are confused about what category they fall into as well as the number of people allowed inside their businesses during the coronavirus

PORTLAND, Maine — While Joshua Miranda is excited to reopen his restaurant and bar, Blyth & Burrows in Portland, during the coronavirus pandemic, he's confused when he actually can.

"What differentiates between a bar and a restaurant?" said Miranda.

According to Governor Mills' plan: Stage 2 would tentatively allow restaurants to reopen June 1, with gatherings of less than 50 people.

Stage 3 would tentatively allow bars to reopen July and August with gatherings of less than 50 people.

Miranda said he has a restaurant and liquor license, but said his business is known for making cocktails.

"Are we going to be closed for two and a half months or three and a half months?" said Miranda.

RELATED: Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland OKs parking lot Masses with strict protocols

The Maine State Department of Economic and Community Development said there is a lot of work to be done on specific components. It said it is working to differentiate between a bar and a restaurant.

Portland Hunt and Alpine Club has been shut down since March. The owner said it is licensed as a restaurant.

"We're anticipating as opening as a restaurant starting whenever it's safe and responsible," said co-owner Andrew Volk.

The owner of Rivalries in Portland and Falmouth said he too will be opening as a restaurant. His concern is the number of people being allowed in.

"Different restaurants are different sizes so I'm not sure why they didn't just do a percentage of capacity or make everyone stick by the 6 foot rule," said owner Lance Meader.

All business owners said while there are a lot of unanswered questions, they are looking forward to getting back to some normalcy.

RELATED: Portland preps for plan to reopen businesses following the coronavirus

RELATED: Real-time Maine Coronavirus update: Governor Mills extends 'Stay Safer at Home' order to May 31

At NEWS CENTER Maine, we're focusing our news coverage on the facts and not the fear around the illness. To see our full coverage, visit our coronavirus section, here: /coronavirus

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