LONDON, ONT. -- Being in the red is typically never a good thing for restaurants, but this day was different.

Restaurants were able to open to indoor diners for the first time in nearly two months as the the region entered the red restrict tier of the province’s COVID-19 response framework.

“Great that it’s gone from the lockdown to red, where you can actually get out and enjoy company and see people that you haven’t seen for a long time,” said Mat Crossen, who was enjoying a beer at Kelseys Roadhouse restaurant on Wonderland Road South.

“Excited,” said Kelseys operator Sean Cross. The last time the eatery could serve indoor diners was Christmas eve.

“When we’ve had our guests come in the first thing we say is ‘welcome back.’”

Under the rules, restaurants and bars can serve up to ten customers indoors at one time. Cross said they’re making the best of it.

“There’s a reason the restaurant is designed for 200 seats. You know every restaurant is different in terms of what their tolerance is. Certainly this isn’t optimal long term for us, but we’re doing alright.”

Also under the restrictions, restaurants must stop serving alcohol by 9 p.m. and be closed by 10 p.m.

Area casinos now open again

Gateway Casinos across Southwestern Ontario have reopened their doors to customers as the provincial lockdown lifted Tuesday.

Locations in London, Sarnia, Point Edward, Woodstock, Clinton, Hanover and Chatham reopened at 12 p.m. to limited capacity, depending on their colour-coded COVID-19 zone.

The Western Fair, Woodstock and Chatham locations can only serve ten customers at a time.

Locations in Sarnia, Point Edward, Clinton and Hanover can accommodate up to 50.

The Western Fair is now open 24-hours, but the hours at other Gateway Casinos vary.

Communications Director Rob Mitchell said, like restaurants, the casino is only allowed ten people at a time.

“We’re responding to demand, and it’s good to be open, and we think especially in London you know the numbers are starting to become very favourable there in terms of the case counts coming down. So we hope to be able to expand.”

Customers must be invited through Gateway's My Club Rewards and make a reservation.

MATCH Eatery and Public House restaurants will provide both dine-in and dine-out service in Point Edward, Chatham and Hanover.