PORTSMOUTH — After more than a two-month shutdown in response to the coronavirus pandemic, Scioto County restaurants once again reopened their doors to the public for indoor dining services beginning Thursday, May 21.
While Ohio’s stay-at-home order remained in effect and forced the closure of inperson dining around the country, many area restaurants remained opened for carry-out and delivery services, but were unable to offer the bread and butter — a meal at a table enjoyed with friends and family.
Portsmouth and Scioto County mainstays such as Patsy’s Inn, Oscar’s, Toro Loco, Buffalo Wild Wings, Hickie’s Hamburger Inn, Pizza Pub, Port City Pub, and Portsmouth Brewing Company each re-opened their indoor dining rooms — with certain restrictions — to the public as part of Ohio’s statewide Responsible Restart Ohio guidelines for re-opening the economy.
Angela McKain, general manager of Oscar’s, and Stan Tackett, owner of Patsy’s Inn, each spoke to the steps each restaurant is taking to ensure public safety while enjoying their meal.
“We’ve done a lot to make sure our customers feel safe and comfortable right now,” said McKain. “We’ve closed our normal dining room and moved our dinner service into our Chandelier Ballroom so as to offer more space and distance between tables. We know how much our client base loves our bar area so we’ve opened it up with social distancing of that space as well.”
“Each of our staff are wearing gloves and masks, we’ve also approved our seating through the city health department,” Tackett said. “It’s taken us from about 86 to be seated to now about 40. The majority of our seating is now every other booth, it’s cut out about 6-7 tables because we’re a small operation and it’s a lot of close-knit seating originally.”
While the over two-month shutdown certainly affected the interaction between business and consumer, McKain and Tackett each relayed to ThePortsmouthDailyTimes how excited they were to reopen their doors and help jump-start the local economy.
“We’ve remained open throughout offering carry-out service, but it’s just not the same flair as serving a regular at a table and chatting about how they’ve (customers) been,” McKain said. “Dining out can be a huge stress relief for people and I think having even the minimal contact with a server to chit-chat about their worries can be a nice relief they haven’t had in a while. Not to mention, we have a great staff here, and with the shut down we’ve missed a lot of them and can’t wait to get them back to work.”
“It’s great,” Tackett said of again seeing and serving customers. “It’s wonderful to see people and talk to them, seeing our regulars come in, and also new people.”
The following list are mandatory guidelines for restaurants to adhere to pertaining to their customers and guests:
• Ensure a minimum of 6 feet between parties waiting and when dining – if not possible, utilize barriers or other protective devices
• Post a list of COVID-19 symptoms in a conspicuous place
• Ask customers and guests not to enter if symptomatic
• Provide access to handwashing methods while in the food service establishment, and if possible, place approved handwashing/sanitizing products in high-contact areas
• Food service establishments offering dine-in service must take affirmative steps with customers to achieve safe social distancing guidelines
A full list of mandatory guidelines and best practices for businesses during their re-opening stages can be found by visiting coronavirus.Ohio.gov.
Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT © 2020 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved