The second phase of Governor Little’s four-phase plan took effect on March 16, allowing restaurants to open for restaurant customers.
BOISE, Idaho – The lights are on, the closed signs are turned over and the doors of some restaurants across the treasure valley are back open, but not just for takeout, for dinner patrons.
So how is business?
“A little better than expected, but certainly not what it was,” said Erik Mcfarland, owner of the Basque restaurant Epi in Meridian.
Epi’s opened to customers on Tuesday, just days after Governor Brad Little announced that Idaho could move on to the second stage of its plan to reopen the state.
“We had to cut out a few tables and a few seats to accommodate and give the impression that everyone had a nice space around them,” said Mcfarland.
He made the decision after receiving feedback from his staff and clients.
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“What we found out is that people want to feel normal and want things to go back to normal and I think it may take a little while for this to happen, so we took extra care like everyone else, “said Mcfarland. .
Like Epi’s, Firenza Pizza in downtown Boise has also changed since it reopened.
“Instead of having six feet between tables, I’m getting closer to eight feet,” said Duane Paris, owner of Firenza Pizza.
It also halved the number of places available in the restaurant, but despite the changes, Paris adds that business has been slow.
“I was hoping this week would be a little better than last week,” said Paris. “Our deliveries are starting to accelerate, but I mean our sales have dropped dramatically, before they were about 25% of what they were before COVID and now they have probably dropped another 10%, they are tough times. “
Friday morning, Western Collective, a brewery, opened its doors to restaurant customers just in time for Memorial Day weekend.
“It has been an interesting day,” said Cary Prewitt, owner of the Western Collective. “Last weekend when everything was out and restaurants were allowed to reopen in the state of Idaho, many wineries reopened as food manufacturers and we decided to take advantage of it also. “
He says the pandemic has forced them to be creative. They’ve created new beers, started canning and marketing them in grocery stores, and although they continue to do so, customers can now enjoy their products at home and inside. their establishment.
“All our servers wear masks, we only do table service, so you come, wait by the front door and sit at a table, and then you get table service, which is a first for us because it was ordered at the bar before, “said Prewitt.
“It feels really good to come back and we certainly appreciate this community,” said Mcfarland.
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