Atlanta restaurants reopen to a new world on Monday

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Governor Brian Kemp issued guidelines on April 23 for restaurants to resume food service on Monday, continuing his plan to ease restrictions on coronaviruses and reopen businesses.

>> REOPENING OF RESTAURANTS: Here is the list of Atlanta Metro restaurants that will open the week of April 27.

The majority of restaurant owners in the Atlanta subway are not expected to open the doors of the on-site restaurants as early as Monday, but some have said they will go ahead, using Kemp’s latest executive order to guide them.

Dennis McKinley plans to reopen the original hot dog plant, which has a downtown Georgia State University campus location and one in Smyrna. The two have been operating for weeks on delivery and delivery status.
“This is not about us trying to maximize our income,” said McKinley. “We know we have to come back to our daily lives at some point. “

Kemp’s latest order requires restaurants to follow 39 guidelines, including screening employees for signs of illness, requiring all employees to wear face covers at all times, and limiting the ability to do no more of 10 customers per 500 square feet. The size of table parties is limited to a maximum of six.

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>> REVERSE REOPENINGS: Some restaurants in the Atlanta subway that were planning to reopen quickly reversed these decisions.

Based on these guidelines, the original 1,000 square foot Smyrna hot dog plant could accommodate up to 20 customers at a time. The location of Georgia State could double that, but McKinley doesn’t expect a lot of traffic because the university has switched to online learning and the students and faculty are not on campus.

In preparation for the opening, McKinley has ordered 1,000 N95 masks and plans to get more; restaurants are also stocked with hand sanitizer as needed. The guidelines require that face covers be cleaned or replaced daily.
McKinley is still trying to understand requirements such as limiting contact between servers and clients. “We are going to have to reinvent the way we serve people,” he said. “A new term could be” contactless server “as we embark on a new world of catering that begins in Atlanta (this) week. “

And what about the social distancing of non-cohabiting people when they are on property? “This is a question I have and we don’t know,” he said. “… If things are not clear, we will not open. We want to be safe and make sure we follow the rules. “

Everyone learns as they go, said Karen Bremer, CEO of the Georgia Restaurant Association, whose Guide to Reopening Georgia Restaurants is available on their website. She encouraged restaurants to contact the Georgia Department of Public Health or ask the association to contact them. “They better do it right or public anger will destroy their business if they are not,” she warned.
On Monday, the Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar will reopen its four branches in Georgia in Chamblee, Decatur, Roswell and Smyrna. Rocky Mountain Pizza in Midtown, Chronic Tacos in Alpharetta and Roasters Rotisserie in Buckhead and Sandy Springs are also planning to reopen for seated service on Monday. The New York Times announced Sunday that Buckhead Life Restaurant Group plans to open five of its seven table service restaurants this Friday. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution was unable to confirm the report on Sunday evening.

Beyond the perimeter, at least 10 restaurants in the Cartersville area plan to open their dining rooms on Monday, according to the Cartersville-Bartow County Chamber of Commerce. They include fast food places like Burger King and more upscale places like Original Rib & Steak House. Sixes Tavern in Cartersville posted a video on its Facebook page to show that the tables in its outdoor seating area are six feet apart. The restaurant, which plans to open on Monday, recently held outdoor gatherings in its parking lot.

Some operators who announced their intention to open this week have reversed their decision, including business partners Mychel “Snoop” Dillard and rapper 2 Chainz who own Escobar Restaurant and Tapas Lounge in Castleberry Hill.

The market at Place Marietta will not reopen its patio for dinner this Wednesday, as previously announced. “We think it is far too early. We weren’t ready. As soon as we feel safe, we will prepare and announce an opening, ”said Ed Lee, co-owner of Food Hall.

As of Friday, Ramona Griggie had already received four calls at 10 a.m. to ask if she and her husband were planning to reopen Hattie Marie in downtown College Park for a sit-down dinner. “It’s a no to me,” she said. Her husband agreed. “I have rheumatoid arthritis. My husband is diabetic. We have a 14 year old daughter. I don’t want people to get sick. I know two people who died in seven days – a husband and a son, and the mother is in intensive care. A whole family is wiped out. It’s a serious thing. “

Griggie’s plan to continue operating as usual, which for them means take out and deliver. And it was fast enough to keep things afloat. “This is our new standard. We got it and it works. “

Jared Hucks, chef and owner of Alden restaurant in Chamblee, said the guidelines “are not exhaustive”. Despite the lifting of restrictions, the Alden will not reopen anytime soon. “We are not going to announce a date for restaurant service until we feel safe,” said Hucks.

Bad Daddy Burger Bar CEO Ryan Zink said the Colorado-based chain is opening its restaurants in Georgia and a unit in Tennessee to bring employees back to work and serve guests. “We believe that with the plans we have in place, we can do it safely,” he said.

“We will not be surprised if some people are disappointed with our decision. We try to do our best to make the right decisions and recognize that we are not experts. We have leadership in the state that says it is time to open up to business and we are trying to follow that. “

AJC editors Andy Peters, Henri Hollis and Matt Kempner contributed to this report.

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