There’s a rare ray of light on the Harrisburg restaurant scene, as The Millworks plans to reopen on Wednesday.
Owner Josh Kesler said that the Midtown restaurant, brewery and art space would reopen for the first time since early July.
“We are doing our best to give our customers the full dining experience and a sense of normalcy in this strange time,’’ Kesler said. “As we go into the holiday season, brunches and gatherings are important, and we want to support those traditions safely.’’
The Millworks closed in March, along with many other businesses, after the COVID-19 pandemic struck. It reopened in June only to close again on July 8 after a worker tested positive for the virus.
Since then, The Millworks has invested some $10,000 in a new HVAC filtration system that removes airborne pathogens, Kesler said. Patrons also will have their temperatures taken at the door, staff will wear facemasks, and tables have been spaced apart to ensure greater distancing.
Kesler said that he is putting into practice some of the measures currently in place at The Watershed Pub, a new restaurant he opened last month in Camp Hill.
“We’ve learned a lot over the past couple months about how to protect our staff and customers,’’ Kesler said. “The Millworks is such a large space, we can seat the current maximum of 50 percent and still exceed the state’s social distance guidelines.’’
The re-opening of the 24,000-square-foot Millworks will put about 50 staff members back to work, Kesler said.
The Millworks’ reopening is a rare bright spot in an otherwise bleak year for Harrisburg’s once vibrant and growing restaurant scene. Last week, Bricco, a pioneer of fine dining downtown, announced it would close on Nov. 21 after 14 years, saying that the pandemic made it impossible to continue in business.
“This has been a tough year, and I think it is important that friends and family have a way to get together in a safe, responsible way,’’ Kesler said. “We are committed to providing that experience at both The Millworks and The Watershed Pub.”
The Millworks is located at 340 Verbeke St., Harrisburg. For more information, call 717-695-4888 or visit www.TheMillworksHarrisburg.com. Due to pandemic-related seating restrictions, reservations are highly recommended.
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