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In addition to our normal news coverage, What Now Atlanta is tracking ways Atlanta’s businesses are adapting to the novel coronavirus and the challenges it brings to brick-and-mortars.
Reopening restaurant dining rooms might have seemed taboo as recently as the end of April, but some of the City’s most notable eateries have announced plans to come back online after being forced to temporarily close last month to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
A surge in reopening announcements arrives as Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp Tuesday updated safety guidelines restaurants must enact in order to reopen by way of an Executive Order (click here to see the original 39 guidelines).
The updated Executive Order, which will go into effect Thursday, May 14 at 12:00 a.m., and end at 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, May 31, can be downloaded here.
It was mostly updated to change the reopening timeline for bars, nightclubs, and entertainment venues (like The Cheetah Lounge which is resurfacing June 1) from May 15 to May 31.
Apparently two-ish weeks later was the right timing for some of those operators.
Ford Fry of Rocket Farm Restaurants, even after having to temporarily shutter Little Rey when an employee tested positive for the novel coronavirus, will reopen Marcel and Beetlecat for dine-in service starting May 18.
Several of the chef’s other eateries, including J.C.T. Kitchen, The Optimist, and Superica, remain open for takeout only.
Tamarind Restaurant Group, the company behind Nan Thai Fine Dining, Tuk Tuk Thai Food Loft, and Chai Yo Modern Thai, will also reopen its restaurants for dining-in starting May 15.
Here are some other recently-opened dining rooms:
U restaurants (Sotto Sotto, Fritti, Escorpión, Novo Cucina)Now Open
” After two months of safely serving to our community the best to go food we could ( my apologies to those whose order we messed up), we have decided to reopen our dining rooms and patios to customers. We provide our service staff with brand new KN95 and surgical masks for every shift, as well as gloves, which they will be wearing as a mandatory requirement. We follow all guidelines and regulations for reopening, so our table availability will be limited. If you feel like getting out for dinner, let us know and make a reservation, we are returning to our regular hours of operation.We look forward to seeing you again”
Vortex, MidtownNow Open
“On May 1st, I posted a BLOG about how this closure has impacted our business. The blog link is here:https://thevortexatl.com/category/blog/. Today we are opening The Vortex-Midtown for Dine-In AND Take-Out service, with our complete menu. Until further notice, we will continue to operate The Vortex-L5P for Take-Out Service ONLY, with a limited menu, and we are continuing to offer all beer at 50 percent off regular prices.”
Word of Mouth Restaurants (Arnette’s, Haven, Valenza, Vero)Now Open
“It is with great optimism and a poised sense of resolve that we are pleased to announce the re-opening of our dining rooms starting today. While we will certainly continue to offer our extensive take-out amenities at all of our restaurants, we are extremely excited to welcome you back into our actual dining rooms and onto our patios! Please scroll through the content below to see our new adjusted hours of operation. As you are all aware the restaurant industry has been one of the hardest-hit small business sectors during the outbreak of COVID-19. We are not at the point where the virus has been completely eradicated, but we look at this next phase of ‘dining at your favorite restaurants’ as a means of healing our spirits and reconnecting in such a way to nourish our souls. We are very proud to operate our restaurants and serve as small business leaders within our immediate community and the greater Atlanta area for the past 16 plus years. Moreover, we are very fortunate that we have remained in business during the duration of this pandemic. It is certainly a testament to the strength of our immediate community and the loyalty of our dedicated family of employees. We have enjoyed the good fortune of our restaurant company developing and growing as our community transitioned into a ‘must live here’ neighborhood and city. The safety and well-being of our staff and our guests are paramount. During the coming weeks and months, it will be imperative for us to instill within our guests and our employees a certain level of confidence and reassurance as it pertains to dining in public eateries in what we will soon come to know as our “new normal.” Our management team has spent a lot of time over the course of the past few weeks looking at how we could carefully and successfully operate the restaurants within the parameters stipulated in the state of Georgia’s Executive Order regarding COVID-19. As for the guidance relating to employee and customer health, food management certification, personal hygiene, cleaning/sanitizing, and contactless technology services we are confident of the measures that we are presently implementing and carefully monitoring. The mandates of the Governor’s Executive Order also greatly reduces the number of guests that we can accommodate within our dining spaces. The formula calls for 10 patrons allowed in the facility per 500 square feet of public space. Therefore, when you do decide to pay us a visit, please be prepared for some logistical adjustments to the overall dining experience. We understand that this next step of the process will require adjustments for both our guests and our staff. However, we will certainly execute these new necessary measures of the dining experience with the same level of hospitality and sincerity that you have grown accustomed to for many years. We have been very creative with our food and beverage offerings and have worked diligently to stay in business since March 16th. At this time, we must again apply this same level of creativity and ingenuity to how we operate successfully under the updated state of Georgia’s “in-facility social distancing restrictions.” Please stayed tuned as we will certainly continue to update you on all of our restaurant concepts and how we will adjust them in order to remain successful throughout this re-opening period. Looking forward to bringing us all back together….well, for now, just 6 feet apart!”
Monkey 68Open Now
“The Roswell restaurant has reopened its dining room and outdoor patio, with seating capacity reduced by half. Reservations are highly recommended and available via Tock.”
[Editor’s note: The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is rapidly evolving as is its effect on Atlanta, and the City’s businesses and its residents. Click here for What Now Atlanta’s ongoing coverage of the crisis. For guidance and updates on the pandemic, please visit the C.D.C. website.]