Southern Tier outdoor food establishments that are setting up operations for spring are adapting to life in the age of coronavirus.

Big Dipper Bar-B-Que in Apalachin opened for the season Thursday but new restrictions were in place to protect customers and employees.

Enthusiastic patrons who had waited six months for the place to start cooking again stood in line but worked to maintain a safe distance between each other.

Signs at the Big Dipper Bar-B-Que stand on Route 434 encouraged customers to avoid close contact. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)

The usual menu was available but the picnic tables where many people typically enjoy their meal remained stacked and were off-limits.

At the neighboring Big Dipper Ice Cream stand, signs announced its scheduled opening on Saturday while encouraging folks to "please respect social distancing."

Yellow "crime scene" tape was used to mark the seating and play areas that would not be usable due to health precautions.

Customers at Big Dipper Ice Cream in Apalachin will have to grab their treats and go because the outdoor seating areas are closed. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)

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Contact WNBF News reporter Bob Joseph: bob@wnbf.com

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