How Restaurants Cope with New Normal

07/07/2020

We talked with three restaurant owners about their adjustments to social-distancing recommendations as they re-open for business, and some of the changes look like they’re here to stay!

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CUSTOMERS CAN'T BELLY UP TO THE BAR LIKE THEY USED TO DO, BUTLOCAL RESTAURANT OWNERS SAY MOST CUSTOMERS ARE RESPONDING WELL TOSOCIAL-DISTANCING MEASURES, AND SOME ADAPTATIONS ARE SO POPULAR,THEY'RE HERE TO STAY. YOU'RE WATCHING THE LOCAL NEWS NETWORK, BROUGHTTO YOU BY DURANGO ELECTRICAL SERVICES. I'M WENDY GRAHAM SETTLE. LOCALRESTAURANT OWNERS SAY THEY'VE HAD TO BE CREATIVE TO RE-OPEN FORBUSINESS DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC. SOME HAVE TURNED TO OUTDOORSEATING, ANOTHER RESTAURANT TURNED A DINING ROOM INTO A TAKE-OUTSTAGING AREA, AND ANOTHER CREATED INTIMATE CUBBYHOLES FOR SMALLPARTIES. AND SOME OF THOSE CHANGES HAVE PROVEN TO BE SO POPULAR THATTHEY'RE HERE TO STAY.


A LOT OF PEOPLE ARE WRITING TRIP ADVISOR REVIEWS ON THIS SPACEAND HOW THEY FEEL MORE COMFORTABLE BEHIND SAY DOORS. AND, AND, YOUKNOW, OBVIOUSLY WE'VE CREATED THESE BARRIERS \, AND IT REALLY JUST ISA MATTER OF PEOPLE GOING INTO A RESTAURANT AND SHARING THAT, THATCOMMON SPACE WITHOUT MASKS ON BECAUSE THEY'RE EATING AND DRINKING.AND HOW, HOW COMFORTABLE ARE YOU REALLY? SO, YOU KNOW, WE TRIED TOTHINK OUTSIDE OF THE BOX WITH THE CUBBIES AND, AND THEY LOVE IT.THAT'S GOING TO BE A PERMANENT FIXTURE. WE'RE DEFINITELY KEEPINGTHOSE UP.


KRIS OYLER, OWNER OF STEAMWORKS, EXPANDED HIS EXISTING BISTROLICENSE FOR THE FRONT WALK OUTSIDE HIS RESTAURANT, REMOVED BOOTHS,AND LIMITED SEATING ON THE BACK PATIO.


WHAT WE'VE DONE IS BEING ABLE TO EXPAND INTO OUR COURTYARD ANDOUR PATIO AREA. SO WE CAN SPREAD PEOPLE OUT THAT WAY. THE BISTRO AREAHERE HAS HELPED.  AND THEN ONE OF OUR SECTIONS HAS JUST BECOME ATO-GO TAKE-OUT SECTION. SO WE HAVE THE WINDOWS WE OPEN UP, WE CAN DOMOBILE ORDER MOBILE PAY NOW. SO THAT'S KIND OF HELPED THAT A LITTLEBIT.


RUSTIN NEWTON, OWNER OF MUTU'S, TOOK ADVANTAGE OF THE PARKING LOTOUTSIDE HIS RESTAURANT AND DOUBLED HIS PATIO SEATING. THE TEN-WEEKCLOSURE ALSO ALLOWED HIM TO REVAMP HIS MENU AND CREATE EFFICIENCIESTO HELP THE RESTAURANT SURVIVE WITH REDUCED SEATING. BUT CUSTOMERS,HE SAYS, ARE FILLING SEATS.


WE'VE HAD PEOPLE FROM ALL OVER, FROM EVERYTHING FROMWASHINGTON STATE, ARIZONA, AS WELL AS PEOPLE WHO ARE, LIVE HERELOCALLY, FROM CORTEZ AND PAGOSA SPRINGS. EVERYBODY'S JUST LOOKING TODO THAT LITTLE TRIP TO COME OUT AND HAVE A GREAT NIGHT OUT AND, ANDJUST ENJOY THEIR TIME AND, AND HAVE SOMETHING DIFFERENT THAN THEY'VEBEEN STARING OUT THEIR WINDOW FOR THE SAME THING FOR, FOR MONTHS ONEND.


ALL THREE RESTAURANTEURS INTERVIEWED FOR THIS STORY EXPECT THESOCIAL-DISTANCING MEASURES TO REMAIN IN PLACE FOR A WHILE, AND THEYSAY THEY COULDN'T REMAIN IN BUSINESS WITHOUT THE LOCAL SUPPORTTHEY'VE RECEIVED.



I WOULD LIKE TO THANK THE DURANGO COMMUNITY FOR ALL THEIRSUPPORT, FOR THE MOST PART, IT'S BEEN PRETTY OVERWHELMING, AND PEOPLECAME OUT AND THEY BOUGHT GIFT CARDS. THEY BOUGHT TO-GO FOOD. THEYREALLY HAVE SUPPORTED LOCAL BUSINESSES, AND I THINK, REALLY, FOR USTO GET BACK TO NORMAL, THAT'S WHAT IT'S GOING TO TAKE. WE'RE GOING TOHAVE TO GET HYPERLOCAL AND HAVE PEOPLE REALLY SUPPORT LOCALBUSINESSES.


YOU CAN SEE A COMPLETE LIST OF DURANGO RESTAURANTS ON THE DURANGOBUSINESS IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT WEB SITE AT DOWNTOWN DURANGO DOT ORG.THANKS FOR WATCHING THIS EDITION OF THE LOCAL NEWS NETWORK. I'M WENDYGRAHAM SETTLE.


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