Take a seat, or browse: Edmonds restaurants, shops opening for Phase 2

Series: Coronavirus | Story 222

Last updated 6/21/2020 at 6:41pm

Brian Soergel

Customers take advantage of outdoor seating June 6 at The Market restaurant on Main Street in Edmonds.

Ready to step into a restaurant or retail store again?

You can now do so, as the state Department of Health approved Snohomish County's application to move into Phase 2 of reopening the economy.

In short, restaurants can be filled to 50% capacity, with a limit of five customers per table. Shops can offer in-store purchases, with restrictions. And real estate and professional services/office-based businesses can open.

And, yes, you can now get a haircut or have your nails done.

Not all restaurants are opening right away. Engel's Pub plans to open to customers Tuesday, but no bar seating will be allowed, as per Phase 2 restrictions. (Bars are part of Phase 3.)

"We are providing masks to our staff, sanitizers, and gloves as supplies last," said Portofino's plans to open soon, said owner Satnam Penaich, after meeting with staff to discuss new dining guidelines.

"We will follow the guidelines by the state," he said, "and limit one person only serving the table. We will still continue to focus on curbside pickup/no contact delivery."

The Loft is open for dining-in service, according to owner Niko Raptis, at half-capacity and with social distancing always in mind. There is also a limited menu that will build up as the time goes by.

"Phase 2 got everyone by surprise, I think, because it happened so quick, without a warning," he said. "We all thought will be a grace period of at least couple of days until moving to the second phase."

Raptis said he is a bit skeptical of how things will work out, but he is taking one day at a time.

"It's like opening up from scratch again cause of the unknown factor," he said. "Nothing like this happened before so there's no records to track back."

Tracy Felix of ARTspot said the store is planning a soft reopening next week, requiring face masks and offering gloves and hand-sanitizer.

"We've had sales with contact-free pickups at our 'speakeasy' back door, participated in Localvore, and updated the store," she said. "The big push was launching a full online website for either pickup or shipping. It is a unique ordering system that still allows us to extend lots of personalized service.

"I am not expecting a big turnout, but ARTspot has a beautiful, fresh, new reveal waiting, and our contact-free services are honed to a fine skill. Full of hope for our community."

Raptis said the Loft's outdoor courtyard would open with more staff on hand.

"(Dining in) business is definitely better than curbside, of course," he said. "People love to get out after such a long time of isolation. It's definitely great to finally see customers back trying to enjoy what they were missing for a while."

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Raptis said the Loft would still offer curbside service, as he thinks they will be plenty of people who like to keep their distance and stay away from the public.

Not all are opening for Phase 2. Brian Taylor Daphnes bar is remaining closed through Phase 2 and most likely Phase 3, he said. That decision is due to the bar's small size, he added.

Of course, restaurants and stores will new experiences.

"It will be challenge to enforce strict guidelines about personal protective equipment with our staff and customers," Penaich said. "It gets hot working in the kitchen and being asked to wear masks all the time is not feasible. We have already expanded our kitchen area to provide more distance among our staff. We've already seen difficulties with this. Some customers will not be happy if they see employees without gloves and masks at many restaurants. We've attended many web seminars to hear the upcoming best practices from professional consultants."

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Portofino's will continue to provide curbside service.

"We always thought it was a good idea," Penaich said.


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