On Monday, The Shoppes at Beacon Light began reopening their doors for dining and shopping for the first time in two months. Retail shops, like Body & Soul Boutique, as well as other local businesses, have anticipated this “full phase one” reopening and eagerly await for their customers.
We asked the restaurant managers and staff to share a little bit about the new changes that have taken place inside their dining rooms and how they have adjusted to this new normal. Face coverings, gloves and sanitation protocols are just some of the precautions the restaurants have put into place to make sure their customers feel safe.
“Today is our first day opening our doors again and it’s starting off a little slow”, said Mike Focarazzo, Owner of Fish Shack, “but within a week or so, I know it’s going to turn around.”
Every other booth is being seated in the restaurant, maintaining the six foot distance as required by the governor’s Phase 1 executive order, disposable condiments and utensils are being provided to patrons and the bar is closed. Both the restaurant owners and the staff are happy to be serving customers again, but it’s not the way it used to be. Operating under the new regulations and CDC guidelines has enforced many changes.
“The staff sanitize everything after every shift. We want to make sure everyone’s safe — that’s our first priority, the food is second”, said Mike. “The girls have had a great attitude despite taking a beating with the tips. They took control of the front end with the take out only and I know they’ll do it again.”
Fish Shack is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11:30 am – 9:00 pm. Closed Sunday & Monday
Governor DeSantis’ Phase 1 executive order, which went into effect on May 18, limits dining room capacity to 50 percent of a restaurant’s usual occupancy rate and requires six feet of spacing between tables.
Yana Kaniaris, owner of Fetta Republic, had a rather different response when asked how she felt about opening the doors again to the public.
“Most of our customers usually take out, so it didn’t seem like our doors were ever closed”, said Yana. “We had a lot of support from the community during the lockdown and it really showed us how much people care about the local businesses.”
A section in the parking lot has been reserved for outside dining, so customers can enjoy the fresh, circulating air and can feel safer.
“We are always doing everything we can to be clean and we are always sanitizing. The cooks wear gloves in the kitchen”, said Yana, that’s always been standard.”
Fetta Republic is open Monday through Saturday from 11:00 am – 10:00 pm, Sunday from 12:00 pm – 9:00 pm.
The local restaurants are hoping to reassure wary customers and are getting creative in doing so. Protective glass and partitions are being used as an extra measure of safety and what seems to be an effective barrier for germs.
“We had to do a lot to get to where we are now”, said Luigi, Kitchen Manager at Sicilian Oven. “We are wearing masks, gloves and are checking the staff’s temperatures first thing every morning. We have protective glass in front of our take out station and are trying to keep as much space between everyone as possible.”
Luigi also stated how great it feels to finally open their dining room and have patrons inside. “People need to work and make money, and we have been lucky. We have had a great crowd and a lot of support from our Lighthouse Point community.”
Sicilian Oven is open Monday through Saturday from 11:30 – 9:00 pm, Sunday from 12:00 pm – 9:00 pm.
Many of the restaurants have placed signs on the tables to indicate whether that table is open for seating or closed. At Offerdahl’s, there are designated tables for the customers that dine in. Isabel Cameau, Shift Lead at Offerdahl’s, explained in detail the changes they have made to the way the restaurant is now operating.
“Everything is now served in a to-go box so the staff doesn’t have to worry about cleaning any dishes”, said Isabel. “The sanitiation station is stocked and we sanitize the table as soon as the customer gets up. Our drink station is sanitized every thirty minutes and there are stickers inside the restaurant to keep the social distancing.”
Offerdahl’s had a limited menu during the lockdown, but is now serving their full menu.
Offerdahl’s is open Monday through Friday 6:30 am – 8:00 pm, Saturday and Sunday from 7:00 am – 4:00 pm.
The new normal for dining out in restaurants might take some getting used to, but the owners and staff have certainly made the recent adjustments with careful consideration of their loyal customers.
Cleanliness inside a restaurant has always been important and now that it’s been taken to a higher standard, people can feel safe dining out again. It is evident that the Lighthouse Point community was supporting restaurateurs during the lockdown and now that the doors have finally reopened, it’s important to continue supporting local businesses and accepting this new normal.
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