NEW BRITAIN – Gov. Ned Lamont, Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz and New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart visited Five Churches Brewing Thursday afternoon to view some of the precautions the small business has enacted to protect its customers during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“We’re really grateful that the governor came here today on his Reopen Connecticut Tour to highlight Five Churches,” Stewart said. “It’s a nice little boost.”
“It was very cool and we feel honored that he chose here to come and check out our space,” said Phil Lemnotis, co-owner of Five Churches.
Along with meeting its owners and staff, the three were given a tour of the business. They checked out the brick oven where the fresh pizzas are made, the change to the indoor seating area, the brewing room and the patio. Along with the tour they were given some updates and interesting information on the brewing process.
“If you look around Five Churches you see they moved the tables; everybody here is wearing a mask and they’re taking the precautions seriously,” Lamont said.
“All the information has been readily available for us to give us guidelines on what to adhere to, so that was nice. So all we had to do was follow what we were told,” Lemnotis said.
Five Churches removed about 100 chairs and separated the tables so the back of each chair is six feet from the next chair.
“We left a lot of space for the pizza kitchen, the bar and for the bathroom,” Lemnotis said.
Five Churches did not reopen Wednesday, the start of Phase 2, deciding to wait until Thursday at 3 p.m. instead.
“Because we’ve been open on the patio we wanted a day to reorganize and socially distance all the tables properly,” Lemnotis said. “We’ll be sanitizing everything all the time between each guest and of course now we’re doing table service only because you’re not allowed to go up to the bar to get your beer.”
The restaurant was still providing many services during the pandemic and continues to “roll with the punches,” Lemnotis exclaimed.
“They were smart; they were ready for takeout [and] they took advantage of that. Then they had outdoor dining and they were ready for that. Now we have indoor, so they took full advantage,” Lamont said.
“The changes that they made are all in accordance with the state laws and what the governor’s guidelines are that he put in place,” Stewart said. “It’s safe; it’s clean and we want to remind people support your local businesses and remember that the success of our community is based off the success of our businesses too.”