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Haley Christie collects dishes from a booth Monday while Paula Tourtelotte stacks items behind the counter at Dave’s Diner in Gardiner. Christie, who has served seven years at the restaurant owned by Tourtelotte’s family, said it was a relief to see old customers after an eight-week hiatus due the COVID-19 shutdown order prohibiting inside dining. Tourtelotte said demand for booths was steady on the first day of the statewide reopening. Andy Molloy/Kennebec Journal Buy this Photo
GARDINER — Dave Tourtelotte, owner of Dave’s Diner on Brunswick Avenue in Gardiner, said it’s going to be a long time before things are back to normal at his restaurant, but was hopeful for the future.
“We’ve never seen anything like this (pandemic) and people don’t know how to deal with it,’ he said. “I think we’ll be OK.”
Dave’s Diner, like many other restaurants in central Maine, opened on Monday to the delight of some would-be diners. However, Geoff Houghton, owner of Hallowell’s Liberal Cup, said his restaurant’s reopening was “very underwhelming.”
Tourtelotte said he had to remove some booths and bar seating from his restaurant, but dine-in traffic has been outpacing takeout …
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