Some area restaurants are glad to have the opportunity to open up their dining rooms again, even in a very limited capacity.
Some others who have been operating on pick-up, curbside or delivery service through the pandemic are waiting until they can fill their dining rooms a little more.
At Sandy’s Restaurant, owner Erika Lucas’ space they moved into just a year ago is large enough they didn’t have to reconfigure seating for when she reopened the dining room for 10 percent capacity.
“We’re seating every other table, and we still have space that we can spread out if need be,” said Lucas, who reopened for in-house dining Tuesday. “We’re just glad to be open.”
Sandy’s had shut down completely through most of the pandemic, as Lucas decided that limited, uncertain curbside service wouldn’t be worth the overhead cost. A semi-regular catering gig helped keep her restaurant going.
Now, she’s added delivery (within Blue Springs and Grain Valley) for would-be customers who might not be comfortable yet returning to a dining room. When restaurants are allowed – possibly in two weeks – to raise capacity to 50 percent, Lucas said she can have close to 150 people.
“Just know we’re taking all the precautions, if you’re not comfortable yet coming here, we’ll take it to you,” Lucas said. “We just have to use our heads and be smart.”
Also in Blue Springs, East Forty Brewing reopened the dining room a week ago Friday after removing numerous tables.
“We could’ve opened earlier, but we just wanted to take the time and make sure everything is safe,” owner David Mann said.
His brewery had served their crafted beers and some kitchen items curbside as allowed through the pandemic, though having to use cans so often became a bit costly. Mann said he applied for the temporary permit approved this week by the Blue Springs City Council, which allows a restaurant to expand its premises by using adjacent outdoor areas. In East Forty Brewing’s case, he’ll put in some barricades to expand the patio space and could put some fenced-in tables on the front sidewalk.
Some other restaurants that have soldiered through the pandemic on pick-up, curbside or delivery services, and perhaps a catering gig, all on smaller staffs, have decided to wait a bit longer.
Palomino’s Restaurant and V’s Ristorante in Independence both posted on social media that they don’t plan to open the dining room until phase two guidelines go into effect, which Jackson County announced Friday would happen June 1 at the earliest. Both said the current capacity guidelines of 10 or 25 percent were “too restrictive” for them to make it practical right now. Phase two guidelines will allow 50 percent capacity. Salvatore’s has posted that it plans to stay with just curbside pickup through May.
On the Independence Square, a handful of restaurants, such as Ophelia’s and Square Pizza have reopened this month with some curbside service.