In its new outdoor dining area, The Small Cafe will be able to accommodate 8-10 tables while maintaining the distance required by coronavirus safety protocols, said owner Melanie Overett. Photo courtesy of The Small Cafe.

The Small Cafe on 2nd Street is reopening for outdoor dining. The diner had been closed for three weeks for remodeling to create more airflow and outdoor seating and to implement additional safety protocols.

The diner still requires a few finishing touches, but owner Melanie Overett said it is open for outdoor dining starting today.

“As soon as we got the notification from the mayor, we jumped on it,” she said.

The Small Cafe now features an outdoor dining area with the capacity to seat 8-10 parties in the back parking lot, and sliding doors that allow for the front of the diner to be opened up completely once indoor dining is permitted again.

“Even when you’re inside, it has that outside feel,” she said. “We’ll be able to accommodate people and still have that airflow.”

Like many other restaurants, The Small Cafe has streamlined its menu to fit onto a one-page, laminated menu card, although Overett emphasized that food offerings have not changed. “It’s all the same food, same cook, same staff,” she said.

While the pandemic might slowly be on its way out, Overett said it made sense to make a long-term investment. “Even if COVID is gone, it’s still a good safety practice,” she said. “I just want something that makes it safe year-round, COVID or not.”