Patrons dine Monday evening at Sidewinders American Grill, where newly installed plexiglass barriers now separate dining booths.

Next time you eat at Sidewinders, notice the clear dividers separating the tops of booths.

Blue Collar Restaurant Group put them up there and at its other restaurants as yet another precaution against the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The sole exception is Bubba’s Bar-B-Que, which will be getting all new, higher-backed booths that in and of themselves will be protective, owner Joe Rice said.

“Winter is coming,” Rice said. “It’s about keeping our customers as comfortable as they can be. … We have to make sure our staff feels comfortable, too."

Blue Collar Group also operates Liberty Burger, Merry Piglets and Noodle Kitchen in Jackson plus three restaurants in Bozeman, Montana.

Outdoor eating is becoming less appealing with the change in weather. Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon recently revised some of the pandemic rules for Equality State restaurants so they can do a good business this winter but still keep everyone safe. 

The rule that patrons at different tables be at least 6 feet apart on all sides doesn’t apply to booths.

“It is strongly recommended that the back of each booth extends above the heads of patrons when seated,” the rule says. “Restaurants are encouraged to extend the height of booths using impermeable partitions, such as plastic or plexiglass partitions.”

Rice said, “In Bozeman we could seat people at booths back to back from Day One. In Wyoming we weren’t allowed to do that, but now we can.”

For more business news see this week's News&Guide.

Contact Jennifer Dorsey at or 732-5908.

Jennifer Dorsey is chief copy editor and Business section coordinator. She worked in Washington, D.C., and Chicago before moving to the Tetons.

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