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Restaurants/Bars Open For Indoor Service in Carbon, Converse, Johnson, Natrona, Sweetwater Counties

in News/Coronavirus

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Restaurants and bars in five more counties will be able to serve their patrons inside under exemptions from the state’s public health orders approved by state officials.

The Department of Health has approved variances for Carbon, Converse, Johnson, Natrona and Sweetwater counties from the public health orders closing restaurants and bars.

Natrona County was granted a variance last week to allow restaurants to serve patrons outside. The variance approved Wednesday allows patrons to dine inside.

Gov. Mark Gordon and Dr. Alexia Harrist, the state’s public health officer, in mid-March issued orders closing restaurants, bars, gyms and other businesses likely to attract more than 10 people, along with businesses providing personal services, such as hair salons, massage therapists and tattoo parlors. The orders were seen as a way to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

The businesses providing personal services were allowed to open last week and at the time, Gordon announced that counties could ask for variances to the state’s other health orders.

So far, variances have been granted for 13 counties, Gordon said Thursday, most to allow restaurants and bars to operate if they follow a lengthy list of safety guidelines.

Those guidelines include limiting tables to no more than six people, making sure tables are placed at least six feet away, requiring customers to sit at tables, requiring servers to wear face masks and requiring businesses to be disinfected several times a day. Employees must also be screened for coronavirus symptoms.

In addition to their requests to allow restaurants and bars to open, Sweetwater, Carbon and Johnson counties asked for churches to be allowed to conduct services.

While churches have not been ordered closed, a public health order limiting gatherings to fewer than 10 people effectively forced the cancellation of services. 

The variance for Sweetwater County and several others that have sought to allow churches to resume services requires that household groups attending services be seated at least six feet apart. It also requires church staff who approach within six feet of people to wear face masks.

Gordon said Thursday that the statewide orders would probably be relaxed May 15, allowing restaurants and bars across the state to reopen if they follow the safety guidelines in place for the businesses allowed to open early.

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Eating Wyoming: Casper’s Little Shop Of Burgers

in Column/Food/Tim Mandese

By Tim Mandese, Eating Wyoming columnist for Cowboy State Daily

It’s creepy, crawly, weird and wacky and offers up some of the best burgers around. A horror-themed restaurant serves up whimsy with a side of fries, and it’s the best kept secret in Casper.

Have you found yourself hungry for a good burger, but you’re surrounded by clowns and kings and endless drive-through lines? Well, if you’re in Casper, head north down Center Street….way down Center Street. Just before K Street, you’ll find a place that’s truly off the beaten path — Little Shop of Burgers

Walking into the Little Shop of Burgers, you’ll find it’s a treat before you even get seated. The walls are covered with vintage horror movie posters and the shelves are decorated with enough creepy items to make the most avid Halloween fan giddy. 

On one wall, there’s a movie poster for “The Mummy,” on another, one for “Dracula.” There’s a suitcase full of heads on a shelf, and playing on the speakers are songs that would fit in at a monster’s ball. On the top of the wall next to your table is a little girl’s doll with clown makeup that would send chills down the Joker’s spine. 

In September of 2018, owner Sarah Weikum opened this one-of-a-kind burger shop. Having worked in the restaurant business in places like San Francisco and New Orleans, as well as Casper, Weikum wanted to bring her love of good burgers and classic horror movies together in one place.

Menu items are all named with a macabre sense of humor. 

Burgers like “Fungus Among Us,” which is Sarah’s take on the classic mushroom Swiss burger. Then there’s the “Drac Attack,” a burger topped with garlic sauce and Havarti cheese.

Sarah recommends her favorite, the “Freddy,” a jalapeno and cheese lover’s dream. 

My go-to burger is “The Fester,” named for Uncle Fester from The Addams Family. It’s a bacon cheeseburger with an amazing barbecue sauce. 

All of the patties are made fresh by hand, seasoned, and each burger is cooked to order. 

Want something other than a burger? Look no further than the selection of chicken sandwiches. But which one? “The Ripper?” Barbecue sauce, bacon, cheddar and green onion on grilled chicken breast. 

Or maybe “Carnival of Chickens?” A crispy chicken sandwich, with your choice of cheese. 

All of the sandwiches at Little Shop of Burgers comes with PLOTS. What’s PLOTS? Pickles, Lettuce, Onions, Tomatoes and Sprouts of course. 

What about the sides? All the fries are fresh cut. My personal favorite, the garlic parmesan fries, will scare off the vampire hordes! But you can go for the crispy onion rings, tater tots, sweet potato fries, sweet potato tots (YUM) or chips. If you want a lower carb side dish option, there’s cottage cheese or side salad.

Shakes? Of course. New on the menu is a full lineup of fresh made milkshakes. You can order “The Gloop,” a Chocolate shake named after Augustus Gloop, the naughty chocolate-craving kid from the movie “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” It’s a shake so full of chocolate and chocolate chips, that you need a spoon, because a straw just won’t cut it. 

You have got to try the “Candy Man,” another name taken from “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” It’s a scrumptious Butterfinger delight.

As if the amazing burgers, fries, shakes and theme weren’t enough, Little Shop of Burgers has a movie screening room! Yes, you can watch a horror movie and eat your horror-themed burger and drink your horror themed shake, all at no extra charge! The screening room features family friendly movies such as “Goosebumps,” as well as the classic Universal Films monster movies and others. Check with your host to see what’s playing. Being the most popular room in the restaurant, it is often rented for parties and business functions. 

Little Shop of Burgers is located at 1040 N. Center St. and is currently open during its winter hours of 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Closed Sundays. In April, the restaurant will switch to its summer hours of 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. Phone: (307) 234-3472 

Follow Little Shop of  Burgers on Facebook to discover the daily specials. If you are an Instagrammer, look for them there as well. 

For a scary good burger, don’t be afraid to get the off the beaten path. If you are alive, dead or one of the undead, you’ll be glad you did.

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