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Diners visit Indianapolis restaurants as outdoor seating opens

Great weather brought people out to experience dining out after several months of being stuck at home.

INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) - Friday was a busy night on a partially-closed Mass Avenue.

Outdoor seating and great weather brought people out to experience dining out after several weeks of being stuck at home.

Downtown on Georgia Street, it was less crowded during what is usually the Friday night dinner rush.

“Little things like this you take for granted when you can do it anytime, but now it’s like I really appreciate this,” said Eric Platt, seated outside District Tap with Alex Mendicino.

The couple came all the way from a still-shut-down Chicago, just to sit outside in Indianapolis and enjoy the food and fresh air.

“It’s a lot better than being stuck inside and sheltered,” said Platt.

“We’re all separated from each other and like, they’re doing a good job of cleaning everything and wearing gloves and masks,” said Mendicino.

Jesse Maas came out with her family with the same idea.

“It’s really cool to see all the restaurants adding that outdoor seating and it’s definitely a fun environment and a perfect first day to be out,” said Maas, also sitting outside the District Tap.

For District Tap owner Michael Cranfill, patrons were a welcome sight.

“We’re very grateful for the residents who come and dine with us, and when people are ready and comfortable, we’ll be here to serve,” said Cranfill.

It was the same message just down the street at Pier 48.

“People are starting to come out, it’s great, it feels great," said manager Michael Vachon. "Everybody’s happy. We know it’s going to start slow, but we’re hoping that everybody just comes out and gives it a shot.”

“It’s very clean and healthy and we’re ready to serve the public,” said Pier 48 owner Keith Stucker.

And some in the public are ready to be served, even if right now that looks different than what they’re accustomed to.

“We’re just trying to adjust to the new normal,” said Platt.