Milwaukee bars, restaurants reopen; some owners excited, others say it's not time

MILWAUKEE -- For the first time in months, Milwaukee bars and restaurants can welcome customers inside.

Employees at Victor's on Van Buren are hard at work.

"We've been preparing for this for the last two months," Victor Jones said.

Prepping the restaurant for its first customers to arrive in months. This, after Mayor Tom Barrett announced bars and restaurants can re-open with 25% capacity.

Victor Jones

"We're going to do a quaren-tini martini tonight for those people looking to have some fun," Jones said.

But a good night out calls for safety measures.

All Victor's employees and customers will have their temperature checked before entering – and social distancing is a must.

"Every other table, two bar stools then two empty and we've got two bars that people can visit," Jones said.

But just a few miles away...

"I know that a lot of restaurants are scratching their heads," George Bregar said.

The owner of Company Brewing says their doors will stay closed as it's too short of notice. Bregar is hoping for more guidance before re-opening.

George Bregar

"There's high turnover, etc. There's perishable product, and you can't just open like that, you can't just change what you're doing overnight," Bregar said.

The Riverwest owner is also trying to understand the timing of the decision.

"When you have short notice like this for something, it makes you suspicious that there are other reasons why he's making this decision that are not related to the health and safety of the public," Bregar said.

As of 2 p.m. on Friday, bars and restaurants in Milwaukee had the option to reopen. Company Brewing is one of many that will remain closed.