Would they even survive?
They did. As of Friday, no more social distancing, capacity limits or mask restrictions. The biggest challenges now are summer construction projects blocking some of the streets outside and finding enough employees to keep up with the crowds of returning customers.
Co-owner Nick Apostolopolous says he’s optimistic about the future.
"I think I’m pretty confident that things are going well, at least at this location. I mean things have been going really well for a while now. I think we should be OK," he said.
One new hire at the restaurant said several months ago she wasn’t sure she’d even walk across the stage for graduation let alone land a job.
Maddy Vanheukelum, who attended prom and graduation ceremonies at York Community High School this spring said, "It’s actually really nice, especially now that things are kind of going back to normal."
During the darkest of months when the restaurant dining room was completely shut down, Apostolopolous said loyal customers helped by ordering take out.
And the city helped by expanding outdoor seating.
One regular customer said we should all move forward with a spirit of understanding and cooperation.
"If someone is uncomfortable with me not wearing my mask, even though I’m vaccinated, communicate. I would gladly put one on," said Randy Blackburn. "It’s all about love. Everybody has their own different thought processes. Try not to make it a political thing. It’s a medical thing. I respect you and you respect me and let’s go do some business together."
Mask mandates are still in effect in schools, daycares and healthcare settings. But social distancing and seating limitations are now in the rearview mirror.