Who wouldn’t wanna open a restaurant that blows up?
Or how about go to one?
Open Hearth, in South Carolina’s Greenville County, recently re-welcomed hungry southerners after having its dining area shuttered in March due to a COVID clampdown.
Upon reopening, the owners wanted to make sure patrons keep their social distance.
To that end — as reported by Charlotte’s WSCOTV — Jimmy and Paula Melehes really blew it.
Over and over.
In lieu of roping off seating sections, the husband-and-wife proprietors placed blow-up dolls throughout the restaurant.
With dine-in service available at South Carolina's Open Hearth for the first time since March, the owners wanted to make the restaurant look as full as they could. https://t.co/2lSQyNSC5A
— ABC30 Fresno (@ABC30) May 14, 2020
“Instead of using scary yellow tape or roping off the empty tables, I thought, ‘We’re going to make this [place] look full.'”
I’m not so sure about that whole “instead” thing. Maybe you could say they swapped “scary” for “creepy.”
To be clear, the dolls weren’t, shall we say, naughty by nature. Paula picked “the G-rated kind” on Amazon.
They were dressed up and placed at tables off limits to patrons with a pulse.
Paula believes that, when folks come in and see the puffed-up people, “They’re going to laugh.”
Blow Up Doll, Party of 4! Greenville's Open Hearth Restaurant Is Havin' Fun https://t.co/SRy4PHFn6O
— Whistle 100 (@WSSL100) May 13, 2020
I’m of the opinion the other kind of dolls would’ve been funnier. The couples’ aired-up chowers of choice might be another reason for customers to avoid going to sleep right after they eat — as you’ve heard before, it may cause nightmares.
But at least people are able to dine out again.
In South Carolina, guidelines require social distance, mask-wearing employees, and disposable menus.
On those fronts, Paula and Jimmy are golden.
This is so cool. I love the Open Hearth. https://t.co/QctxSyQYW1
— Ron Tate (@sccounsel) May 13, 2020
In case you were wondering, Open Hearth’s been in business for 61 years. For now, closing up shop just isn’t in the cards — deadly pandemic or no.
Jimmy’s dad started it, and Paula and her man are crossing their Ts and dotting their I’s:
“We’re doing everything we can to make sure we do this right. We just didn’t want the virus to be what shuts us down.”
Despite their down-home antics, make no mistake — the joint offers a bit of the ritz. Their Cowboy Steak will run you $46, and the Filet and Lobster Tail comes in at a hefty $49.
I bet both are delicious.
And for the haters: If you think Open Hearth’s prices are inflated…wait’ll you see their customers.
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