Over the past few months, local restaurants have been working diligently to update operations in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Online ordering has been expanded, new delivery services have been added, and curbside pickup has become the norm. Eateries moved to exclusively offering takeout and no-contact delivery. Needless to say, it has been a big adjustment for the restaurant industry.
Recently, Governor Ivey announced that orders have been adjusted for restaurants. This gives eateries the opportunity to welcome a small group of patrons to dine on-site. As we spoke with many of our clients, we discovered that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to handling the first phase of reopening.
Depending on the restaurant’s size and daily operation requirements, protocols have to be updated accordingly. This has led some establishments to wait longer before offering any on-site dining, while others are allowing outdoor patio dining or limited indoor seating. Of course, all tables maintain a six-foot distance and adhere to strict sanitation requirements.
Because each restaurant has to handle this phase differently, we decided to put together a rundown so you can see just a few of the ways our restaurant clients are responding to the new order. Here’s how you can enjoy dining out in the safest and most convenient way possible.
Known for its mouth-watering menu of sandwiches, towering salads, and flavorful appetizers, Melt is a favorite in the Downtown neighborhood. Since the new order was issued, the comfort-food-loving eatery has taken steps to make their environment safe for patrons to enjoy. Starting today, the dining room will be open to a limited amount of guests.
“Our dining area will be open to 50 percent of our regular capacity,” explained Donny Amara, Melt’s General Manager. “All of our tables are six feet apart and sanitized after each use. All door handles are being sanitized every ten minutes and we are using all single-service items—paper menus, to-go boxes, and utensils. Every employee will be wearing a mask and gloves too.”
Melt will continue to offer all of its delivery, curbside, and takeout options as well.
THE MOON BAKESHOP
At The Moon Bakeshop, they are taking a different approach. Due to the size and openness of the bakery, owners Thom and Maddie Watkins have decided to keep the dining area closed for now and continue doing curbside orders. Hours are Tuesday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
At Super Chix, guests can dine at the outdoor patio area while maintaining a six-foot distance. While the indoor dining room is not open quite yet, staff is monitoring the traffic and has hopes to be open to indoor seating with limited capacity soon. Watch their social media for an announcement.
All curbside, delivery (GrubSouth & DoorDash), and online ordering will still be accessible. And the curbside tent will remain outside. Plenty of signage will be around the restaurant as well to ensure patrons are aware of all safety procedures.
Super Chix will maintain normal hours of 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.
JUST LOVE COFFEE CAFE
Need to get out of the house for a moment to enjoy a cup of coffee? Just Love Coffee at Times Plaza has opened its indoor dining to a limited number of people. Be aware that there are new rules and regulations in place that all guests will be required to follow when visiting.
Indoor dining will be open Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Curbside delivery and takeout will remain and have the same hours as indoor dining.
BAD DADDY’S BURGER BAR
If you could go for a mile-high burger and fries, Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar at Times Plaza is about to make your day. Its massive burgers, salads, and sides can be enjoyed on-site now! After the recent order went into effect, the indoor seating area opened to a limited number of guests.
All guidelines and recommendations from the CDC are in effect. Prior to reopening, Bad Daddy’s performed a detailed cleaning of the entire restaurant and they continue to regularly sanitize all surfaces. All managers and staff are wearing masks and gloves, as well as being retrained on all COVID-19 procedures.
Finally, all employees are being screened prior to each shift, and guest seating will be spread out. Floors are marked for proper social distancing and menus will be for one-time use.
Takeout, curbside, and delivery are still an option for anyone wanting to bring their order home.
Mazzara’s Italian Kitchen, Fresko Grille, Taqueria El Cazador, Oh Crepe, Kamado Ramen, Bark & Barrel BBQ, & Pourhouse
Stovehouse has something in the works that will allow guests to return to the development for fun and food while maintaining social distancing. Phase one of reopening the Huntsville hangout is called “Dining at a Distance”.
Thanks to the development’s size, it’s possible to grab your favorite fare and relax on-site with your friends or family. Dining is now spread out across the entire 12-acre campus and new procedures have been put in place to ensure safety for all.
“The goal here is to provide comfort and compliance,” said Stovehouse Operations Manager Jonathan Barnette in a press release. “We want customers to be able to enjoy our eclectic restaurants and bars, the great weather we’re having … and we have the advantage of being able to spread that experience out over a large area to keep things safe.”
This phase of reopening began last night (May 11th at 5 p.m.). With tables spaced at least eight feet apart, it’s still possible for hundreds of customers to visit without an issue. Restaurants including Mazzara’s Italian Kitchen, Kamado Ramen, Taqueria El Cazador, and Fresko Grille are all open and operating with strict health regulations. Pourhouse will have limited seating starting May 13th and Oh Crepe will reopen shortly after. Bark & Barrel is set to open in the upcoming weeks too.
Live music is not available yet, but Stovehouse will be pumping tunes throughout the campus so your dining experience comes with a great atmosphere. Lawn games are still put away and not available at this time to encourage further social distancing.
Rules for the destination have also been posted throughout the site so people are well informed.
HONEST COFFEE ROASTERS
There’s nothing quite as relaxing as sipping coffee outside on a beautiful morning. And at Honest Coffee Roasters, you can do just that! The coffee shop has added limited outdoor seating on Washington Street and Clinton Avenue that are being sanitized after each use.
After seeing success with additional online ordering, curbside delivery, and takeout, Honest has decided to keep their indoor dining area closed for now. When you arrive, expect to see markers on the floor that indicate a six-foot distance between customers as well as red circles where you will wait for your order to be ready outside. One door is a dedicated entrance and the other is the designated exit, limiting crossing between guests.
Plastic guards have also been put up between visitors and baristas at the registers for additional protection and all employees are wearing masks and gloves. For anyone who feels more comfortable staying at home, all delivery, takeout, and curbside options are still available.
Stay tuned to their social media for updates on when the indoor seating will be opened.
Self-Serve Drinkery is open as well. However, it’s important that guests acknowledge new procedures when visiting.
“For the time being, we are going to be pouring all beverages for our patrons,” said Co-Owner Stan Stinson. “In addition to monitoring our crowd size and putting more sanitation practices in place, we will be escorting guests to the taps where we can tell them about selections and allow them to order. It will only be our staff handling the taps and we will make sure everyone is taken care of.”
Stay tuned to Self-Serve Drinkery’s Facebook page for hours and updates!
Despite opening near the beginning of the pandemic, Phat Sammy’s has become a huge local hit. It’s hard to scroll through Instagram without seeing a picture of Phat Fries, Spam Fried Rice, or take-home Cutty Bangs.
For now, Phat Sammy’s plans to continue as they are and keep the indoor dining area closed. But they hope to have plans in place next week for limited on-site seating. Owners say the best way to stay updated on when patrons can dine in at the basement tiki bar is by watching social media.
You can still order online for takeout and curbside delivery.
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