Dean Kelsey is tattooed by Travis Lakeman at Fu's Custom Tattoos in Charlotte's NoDa neighborhood shortly after 5pm on Friday as NC moved into Phase 2 of economic reopening. NC restaurants, salons, tattoo parlors and pools reopened Saturday.
Dean Kelsey is tattooed by Travis Lakeman at Fu's Custom Tattoos in Charlotte's NoDa neighborhood shortly after 5pm on Friday as NC moved into Phase 2 of economic reopening.

North Carolina businesses entered Phase 2 of Gov. Cooper’s coronavirus plan, opening at reduced capacity over Memorial Day weekend. Here’s what it looked like.

For better or for worse, North Carolina restaurants reopened over Memorial Day weekend.

Restaurants, salons and pools were cleared Friday to open at 50% capacity as the state entered Phase 2 of Gov. Roy Cooper’s coronavirus reopening plan. 

Cardinal & Pine contributing photographer Grant Baldwin toured Charlotte restaurants over the weekend to check out the scene. See his photo essay below. 

RELATED: NC Will Loosen COVID Restrictions Today. But A Top Epidemiologist Calls The State’s Trends ‘Worrisome.’

Cooper announced the plan despite an increase in new cases. A day after Phase 2 began, NC reported 1,107 new confirmed COVID-19 cases, the largest one-day increase of infections yet.

NC coronavirus cases
Source: NC DHHS

As there is a lag between the development of symptoms and reporting on tests, officials are likely to note that it’s too soon to chalk up any new numbers to the reopening. New cases have generally been on the rise at the same time as testing, although the percentage of positive tests surged to 10% on Saturday too.

Mandy Cohen, secretary of the NC Department of Health and Human Services called it a “notable and concerning increase.” 

New cases dropped back to 742 on Monday, closer to the state’s seven-day rolling average. 

Cooper and Cohen are expected to address reporters Tuesday afternoon on the spike, as well as give an update on their ongoing plans for reopening. 

Businesses like bars, nightclubs and gyms are not expected to reopen until at least June 26 under Cooper’s plan, which has stirred some criticism from business owners. 

Look for updates this afternoon from Cardinal & Pine.

Midwood Barbers was open for buisness Saturday with precautions in place such as wearing masks and reducing the number of active stations, efforts taken in order to adhere to the Phase 2 protocols.
Shortly after 5pm on Friday, Salyna Ang (left) of Billy Jack’s Shack in the NoDa neighborhood screens patrons before they enter by briefing them on posted Phase 2 reopening requirements and then checking their temperature.
A sanitizer solution used by servers at Dish restaurant in Plaza-Midwood to thoroughly clean tables and chairs after each patron departs.
Dish Restaurant server Regan Brown uses a sanitizer solution to thoroughly clean tables and chairs after each patron departs the back patio at Dish restaurant in Plaza-Midwood.
NC Considers Mandatory Mask Rule
Kevin Rivera, Barber at Midwood Barbers, cuts hair Saturday while he and his client wear masks as the shop re-opens with precautions taken to adhere to the Phase 2 protocols.
Joey “The Barber”, Owner of Midwood Barbers, weards a mask and sanitizes his chair bewteen customers Saturday as his shop re-opens with precautions taken to adhere to the Phase 2 protocols.
Patrons of The Goodyear House in Charlotte’s NoDa neighborhood socialize while servers wear masks as they take orders at the restaurant Saturday as phase 2’s reopening allowed limited seating.
The Goodyear House in Charlotte’s NoDa neighborhood made many adjustments in effort to keep patrons and staff safe Saturday as phase 2’s reopening allowed limited seating.