LARCHMONT, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — With what appears to be the worst of the coronavirus pandemic behind us, the “new normal” is taking shape in Westchester as the county enters Phase Two of reopening.

The street scene in Westchester cities and villages grows livelier by the day. Augie’s, of Larchmont, is open for outdoor table service after 85 long days, and non-essential retail, salons and barbershops are back.

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At Clara’s Salon in Mount Vernon, the sight of touch-ups and trims puts a smile on customers’ faces. You just can’t see it under the mask.

“It makes me feel really great,” Mount Vernon resident Rose Valentin said. “Even walking around here you see people are bouncier.”


On Midland Avenue in Yonkers, Anthony Agostino burst into song to celebrate outdoor dining.

“It feels really great,” Yonkers resident Brianna Macri said. “I’ve been stuck inside with my parents for two months so it feels nice to get out.”

In Bronxville, every table in the newly created al fresco space at Underhill’s Crossing is booked through Sunday night.

Owner Steve Palm says customers are coming up from the Bronx and Manhattan and showing appreciation to the waitstaff.

“The public is so receptive, and last night tips were no less than 30%. Sometimes they were 100%,” Palm told CBS2’s Tony Aiello. “People are itching. They want to be back out, they want to be entertained, they want to be served.”

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“Being here without anybody really makes everything sad, so having a lot of customers always helps the day,” said Isiah Taylor, store manager at Mossy Fern.

Shop owner Steve Singer hopes customers who switched to home delivery switch back.

“Please come back. Shop local. Keep your sales tax dollars in the village,” he said.

Even as street life returns, however, concern remains.

“We’re still in a pandemic. Concerns are that people won’t social distance or won’t wear masks or face coverings,” Bronxville Police Chief Christopher Satriale said. “We don’t want to see the spike that everyone is warning us can occur in September.”

The “new normal” means hand sanitizer, face masks and signs promoting social distancing.

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Many restaurant owners say they’re getting calls from New York City residents who are looking to book tables, anxious for a night out at a restaurant, something they haven’t had locally since almost 90 days ago.