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NEW ORLEANS — Modified Phase Two started in New Orleans today and restrictions are easing up for restaurants.

For 79-year old Larry Hannafy, being in Modified Phase Two is a good thing.

“I don’t cook. It is part of my religion. I do use a microwave, but that is about it,” he said.

Because he doesn’t cook and already got the COVID vaccine, Hannafy now feels safe going out to eat at his favorite restaurant, Slim Goodies Diner.

“At this place they take care of their guests and they take care of people’s health,” he said.

Because the City of New Orleans is now in Modified Phase Two—salons, gyms, churches, and restaurants are allowed to have 50 percent capacity. This is something that Superior Seafood’s General Manager John Michael Rowland says is a relief.

“Going from 25 to 50 percent adds a little bit of confidence for our guests that are coming through. It is saying that is getting a little safer to go out and dine,” he said.

He said now Superior Seafood is able to seat about 65 more people.

“When you are able to add more tables, then obviously the wait goes down, so obviously you will be able to sit the guests quicker,” Rowland said.

However in order to order alcoholic drinks at restaurants, you must buy food. Indoor seating is still not allowed in all bars.

“Having 50 percent is just a better feel. Here at Superior Seafood we want to continue to instill confidence and comfort for our guests,” Rowland said.

And diners are feeling it.

“I am excited because I feel like this will help businesses out. The restaurants feel socially distanced and you are just sitting with a group of people, so I feel like it is pretty safe,” Lizzy Stefanov said.