DARIEN \u2014 While the local impact, if any, of phase 3 of Gov. Ned Lamont\u2019s reopening plan is yet to be seen, businesses and organizations in town are hoping it inspires more patrons to venture out and engage. \u201cWe\u2019re just gonna have to hope,\u201d said Robert Mazza, longtime owner of the Sugar Bowl Luncheonette. \u201cI\u2019m hoping that they\u2019re going to come in.\u201d On Oct. 8 restaurants, hairdressers and some select personal service providers will be allowed to operate with 75 percent capacity, up from 50 percent these past several months. \u201cI\u2019m maxed out at 50 percent,\u201d Mazza said, noting space and costs have prohibited his ability to create new outdoor space, or to heat the outdoor tables he\u2019s relied on. Other changes include outdoor venues, including stadium and concerts, which will be allowed up to 50-percent capacity, along with indoor performing arts venues and indoor religious gatherings, which must cap at 200 people. Mandatory mask-wearing and social distancing remain in place. As autumn unfolds \u2014 and the chance for cold weather becomes more likely \u2014 many businesses that have depended on outdoor seating may have to find other options. \u201cWe\u2019re losing our outdoor seating because of the weather,\u201d explained David Nelson, owner of Ten Twenty Post. Like many others, Nelson has faced challenges, though he has been fortunate to have significant space to spread out customers, as well as an outdoor tent for more options. \u201cYou won\u2019t find a better town to have a restaurant,\u201d he said, noting the community\u2019s support as well. At the same time, his frustration continues to mount with state legislation he said shouldn\u2019t be dictating the decisions. \u201cLet the people decide,\u201d he said. \u201cOpen it up to 100 percent. That\u2019s the American way.\u201d Steven Rivieccio of Papa Joe\u2019s said they are preparing for Phase 3 by putting dividers in the bar area and dining room area, and will continue outdoor seating until the town says they can\u2019t. Scott Sergiano, area manager for Caffe Nero, said many customers aren\u2019t up to speed on the latest state regulations for dining. \u201cYou\u2019d be surprised how many people call and ask if we have indoor dining,\u201d he said. \u201cThey don\u2019t have a clue.\u201d Phase 3 will increase his indoor dining by about eight seats, he said. \u201cIt helps because we\u2019ll have more capacity,\u201d Sergiano said, but this will be in tandem with the likely loss of outdoor seats with colder weather. Still, he\u2019s optimistic. \u201cYou never know,\u201d he said. \u201cIn November you get a 75-degree day.\u201d Darien Library is also adapting their current guidelines to reflect phase 3. \u201cWe have been waiting to announce the changes publicly until the state provides the detailed guidance documentation, which they have yet to do. We do know that the state\u2019s phase 3 includes bumping up from 50 percent indoor capacity to 75 percent, so we will likewise be able to allow more individuals into the Library,\u201d said library Director Kiera Parrott The library intends to announce full phase 3 changes next week. In the meantime, it is expanding to Saturday service from 1 to 5 p.m. starting this Oct. 10. The Museum of Darien reopened Oct. 6 for the first time since the pandemic hit, by appointment only. Appointments can be booked at museumofdarien.org. First Congregational Church and St. Luke\u2019s Parish are welcoming parishioners back indoors by reservation this weekend. Meanwhile, Darien Toy Box and Barrett Bookstore both said phase 3 will not impact them much. \u201cWe will continue staying open 10 to 4 and ask customers to keep social distance and no touching. Everyone seems to be okay with that and masks. Occasionally we have had to limit the number of customers in the store \u2014usually no more than 5 or 6,\u201d Darien Toy Box owner Bill Jensen said. \u201cIf there are no new cases, we might go 10 to 5 beginning late October,\u201d he said. Page Berger of Barrett Bookstore said, given the large space the store maintains and the fact that they don\u2019t get a lot of browsers at one time, \u201cI don\u2019t foresee any technical changes.\u201d \u201cWe will continue to enforce proper mask-wearing and mandatory hand-sanitization as folks enter,\u201d she said. \u201c... We are looking forward to the holiday crunch and will be beginning to encourage people to shop local and shop early given printer press delays, ongoing shipping questions, and in hopes that we can spread out our usual holiday crowds.\u201d Barrett also intends to offer home delivery again with wrapping to prevent shoppers from being inside the store too long. Over at the Darien YMCA, a couple new changes shadow phase 3 expansion, including reopening showers in locker rooms, a return of drop-in babysitting, and some tables out by the cafe. \u201cWe\u2019re keeping our capacity levels the same,\u201d explained Patty Kane, marketing and communications director, in part because it\u2019s working well and patrons continue to return. \u201cWe\u2019re working very, very hard to keep this place safe,\u201d said CEO Jennifer Gardner, \u201cto keep this place clean, to make sure that everyone who comes in here is healthy.\u201d \u201cWe hope that through the guidelines ... it gives people more confidence in coming here,\u201d she said. \u201cThe members that are here are all very comfortable being here.\u201d One Darien business that isn\u2019t getting the benefit of the loosening restrictions is Joyride Cycling + Fitness. \u201cUnfortunately, phase 3 doesn\u2019t change the restrictions imposed on gyms or boutique fitness studios. This is particularly challenging as rules are eased for other retails stores and restaurants. Not to mention the lack of a second round of PPP funding for small businesses,\u201d said Amy Houchhauser, of Joyride. Joyride has been making use of a large tent in the parking lot by the Corbin Drive Post Office for outdoor classes, but that too will be impacted by cooling temperatures. \u201cLocal boutique fitness studios are all really hard hit right now. We can use all the community support we can get,\u201d she said. Rich Anders, general manager of the Darien Sport Shop, said the hope is that \u2014 while the phase 3 reopening doesn\u2019t directly impact retail \u2014 it will encourage more people to venture out. \u201cWe\u2019re surprised by how well the reopening has gone,\u201d he said. \u201cWe\u2019ve had absolutely no issues.\u201d Protocols remain in place, he said, and, like Barrett Bookstore, the store is ready for holiday business. \u201cWe\u2019re still hopeful that it will be a good holiday season,\u201d he said. \u201cSo far, so good.\u201d Likewise, Mazza hopes Darienites will be bringing the joy. \u201cWe\u2019re following the rules, so they should be happy to support us, I hope,\u201d he said.