After reports of food service workers being assailed by customers who refuse to wear masks, one restaurant owner in Hamilton decided to take a humorous approach: water pistols.

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Clay Skinner, the owner of the Hamilton Eatery, says this is the first time in 36 years that he and his staff have had to wear a mask to work. "And so if those are the rules for me and my crew, then those are the rules for guests on our property."

Skinner says his staff is "locked and loaded" with water pistols.

Currently, under the governor's executive order, masks must be worn when entering and walking around a restaurant - but can be removed when seated.

Recently, an ice cream shop in Chittenango and a restaurant in Alexandria Bay reported customers screaming and berating their staff. The girls working the window at the ice cream shop were actually spit on by a costumer. The reason: being asked to wear a face mask.

The Hamilton Eatery has eagerly been waiting to reopen since being shut down in mid-March due to the pandemic. "Parts of this pandemic are like the gambler in the Kenny Roger’s song; Ya got to know when to hold ‘em, when to fold ‘em, when to walk away and when to run," Skinner wrote in June.

The Hamilton Eatery says they've implemented a new online ordering and payment platform, combined with a shelf to hold “pre-order pick-ups” in bags. They're also expanding their grab and go prepared food, are going to be featuring other new menu options.

The Hamilton Eatery is located at 41 Lebanon St in Hamilton, and you can find them on Facebook.