WATERLOO -- The minute they were allowed to open, patios in Uptown Waterloo were welcoming customers.

Ontario officially entered step one of their reopening plan on Friday at 12:01 a.m., which was the exact moment restaurants like Prohibition Warehouse and Kentucky Bourbon & Barbecue opened up their outdoor dining to the public.

Adam Cole, the operator of the two restaurants, says he was debating whether or not to open at midnight, but when he asked his staff they said yes.

"You have to wear a mask anytime you get up from the table," said Cole. "You can't be walking around with drinks, you can't go table to table saying hi to people. I know that's tough because everyone wants to say hi to their friends who they haven't seen in months, but that's the biggest thing is just following the COVID-19 protocols and making sure we have a safe and fun environment."

Under the step one guidelines, there can only be four people per table. Exceptions for the rule include households that have more than four, as well as caregivers and people who live alone.

There are no capacity limits for patios, but tables have to be two metres apart.

Both Kentucky and Prohibition were receiving numerous calls throughout the day asking for table and were expecting to not be able to sit everyone who was lined up.

Last call will continue to be 2 a.m.

Besides patios, other places allowed to reopen on Friday include non-essential retail stores, day camps, and outdoor fitness classes.