RI Restaurants Opening Phase One
Sailing is still going to be a pain, but looks like restaurants will begin to open if you don't mind sitting outside. The Officers Club at the Naval Station only has outdoor seating anyway in the Spring-Summer anyway It will be interesting to see if they open in June? Problem with that restaurant is that is near the water and can be very cool or even cold unless it is a warm sunny day. When it is warm and sunny it's a great place to eat. Of course it is usually busy in the best of times so I don't know how easy it will be to get a table when they are spaced out.
It will be hard for many restaurants to Open in places like downtown Newport where they just won't have the space to open outdoor restaurants.
Dine-in service will not be allowed during Phase One.
A little later in Phase One, restaurants will be allowed to begin offering outdoor seating options, with strict regulations.
Table placements must follow social distancing requirements.
Restaurants cannot offer any frequently touched, reusable items such as menus, condiments or silverware. Everything will have to be individually wrapped, Raimondo said.
Restaurants that do not currently have outdoor seating are encouraged to "be creative," such as converting part of the parking lot or another nearby outdoor space. The state is working with the League of Cities and Towns to discuss outdoor dining options in parks, open spaces and even closed streets.
The state decided to pivot away from the pilot program for restaurants and focus more on outdoor dining to ensure fairness, Raimondo said.
More dining options will be a major focus during Phase Two. Restaurants that cannot open during Phase One will have more options at that time.
"Restaurants are going to have to do a lot of thinking now for how you are going to open down the road," Raimondo said. "Dining and other close contact businesses will definitely be the focus of Phase Two."
- May 12, 2020
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