Taking a bite out of Phase II

Published 10:38 pm Friday, June 5, 2020

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As most of the state moved into its Phase II reopening on Friday, local restaurants started to open their dining rooms. With the escalating June heat, inside seating comes at just the right time.

According to the new Phase II requirements, restaurants can operate at 50 percent capacity, allowing Suffolk eateries to adjust their services to fit the new laws.

At The Plaid Turnip on Friday, Maryanne Conrod enjoyed lunch with her children for the first time inside since mid-March.

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“It’s very nice to be able to sit inside out of the heat,” said Conrod. “I am glad Phase II is here, and we can start moving forward as long as the numbers stay safe.”

At The Plaid Turnip, tables have been removed to follow the 50-percent limit. To reduce spreading the virus through contact, condiments are no longer on the tables. Menus are now single-use and are encouraged to be viewed digitally on personal phones. Silverware is wrapped in single-use paper napkins. Any condiments that are needed are brought to the table by request and wiped down thoroughly afterward.

“I do appreciate that the staff is still very cautious and taking the extra measures,” said Conrod.

Servers are taking precautions by wearing masks and gloves. The extra sanitation measures that were in place on Phase I will continue as well. Seating is still available outside for those who still like the fresh air.

The Plaid Turnip is still at the Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts Center on West Finney Avenue.

Ryan’s Steak and Cakes is also ready for customers to dine-in. During Phase I, Ryan’s only provided takeout. Now, more options are available. With already-limited seating, the restaurant is making adjustments to fit its needs.

“We are just trying to take our time and doing the best we can to adjust to these new regulations,” said Ryan Byrd, owner of Ryan’s Steaks and Cakes.

Ryan’s is keeping up its sanitation practices that were already in place in the previous phase as well. With a new phase comes a new learning curve for everyone.

“We just want to do what is best for our customers,” Byrd said.