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Restaurants in Tower Grove say unvaccinated customers will sit outside

Owners are creating policies they feel will keep their patrons and staff safe.
Credit: KSDK

ST. LOUIS — Health officials are begging people across the country and in Missouri to get their COVID-19 vaccines and businesses are trying to stay safe.

Some places in Tower Grove are saying if you are not vaccinated, you’ll have to sit outside. 

Steven Smith, Tavern Keeper at The Royale in Tower Grove says they have customers who tend to come back for more. 

They want to keep it that way by making sure everyone stays healthy. But, if you’re coming to eat and drink in their bar now, you’ll have to bring something along with you. 

“Show me your vaccine card," Smith says. "If you are [vaccinated], cool. Hang inside, drink and sit at the bar. Much less risk to the bartender. Much less risk to you."

The Royale is requiring proof of vaccination for customers to sit indoors. You can bring a copy of your vaccination card or a picture of it. 

But, if you’re unvaccinated or you don’t have proof,  you’ll have to sit outside.

They're not the only business doing this. Five minutes away at Olio, a similar measure is in place. 

Ben Poremba is the owner of the Bengelina Hospitality Group, the group that owns Olio. 

RELATED: Indoor dining for vaccinated guests only: St. Louis restaurant group shares new vaccine requirements

“We are limiting indoor dining to vaccinated individuals and we’re requiring all our employees to show proof of vaccination," Poremba says.

They don’t require proof from customers. 

"I have full trust in the majority of our guests that they have the integrity and the honesty to tell us the truth."

Both restaurants announced this change on social media, posting the new rules on Instagram and the comments were blowing up. Some people are strongly for and against this move. 

But a lot of people had questions. So, we got some answers. 

What about kids who are unvaccinated or too young for the shot? 

Steven Smith says, “I would suggest they go outside, to reduce the risk of the kid getting anything, reduce the risk of the kid passing it along. 

Ben Poremba of Olio says, “You know, I’m a father of two. My boy is nine. My daughter is five. I think it’s the responsible thing to do to have them sit outside.” 

What if most of the people in your party are vaccinated. But one or some aren’t?

Ben Poremba tells us if your group of unvaccinated and vaccinated people is coming to Olio, “they'll be sitting on our patio." 

Steven Smith says it’ll be the same case at the Royale, “No seating inside even if you’re with that party.” 

RELATED: St. Louis area COVID-19 hospitalizations up 30% in 8 days, ICU patients doubled in less than a month

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