Like many Haliburton County businesses, the Mill Pond Restaurant in Carnarvon is gearing up for even more customers June 11 as they will be allowed to offer outdoor dining to go along with take-out service.

The province announced June 7 that it is entering step one of its roadmap to reopen plan as of 12:01 a.m. Friday.

It means restaurants such as the Mill Pond can now offer outdoor dining with up to four people per table, with exceptions for larger households.

The Highway 35 eatery had picnic tables last summer but owner Brad Archer said they are planning better for this year to be able to cope with take-out and table service “because last time it was a little bit chaotic. Just trying to keep up in the kitchen.”

With take-out and 12 picnic tables, Julie Brittain said it will be “all hands on deck.”

They are encouraging people to call ahead to book outside tables and place orders and to be patient.

But the two are encouraged by the latest development and what it means for not only their establishment but businesses across the Highlands.

“I think they left it long enough this time, hopefully, that it’s going to be alright,” Archer said. “And they’re doing it really gradually, too, allowing four people at a table to begin with.”

Brittain added, “the numbers today (June 8) are the lowest since last September so it’s looking positive.”

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