For the first time since March, Madigan’s Waterfront will be one of the many restaurants able to offer limited indoor seating Friday as the region moves into Phase Two of reopening.
“This is our time,” said Cathy Madigan, who owns the restaurant with her husband. “We probably lost 70% of revenue. We are hoping to get some back.”
The restaurant started offering outdoor seating under Phase One in late May.
Phase Two lets gyms reopen at 30% of their capacity, allows social gatherings of up to 50 people and lets restaurants reopen with up to 50% of their capacity. Under Phase Two, Madigan said she expects to open about 30% of the restaurant’s indoor seating.
Madigan said they’ve increased their clearing practices to disinfect tables and chairs, using disposable menus and increasing the number of stations with hand sanitizer. All employees are required to wear a face mask unless they maintain physical distance from others, she said.
“It’s been a little challenging, but we are trying to get back to a new normal,” Madigan said. “We are trying to keep everyone safe, our employees as well as our customers.”
Madigan said their reception venue above the restaurant that could host events for 150 people also lost business due to the pandemic. Some clients rescheduled, but many had to cancel. Under Phase Two, they’ll be able to host small events with up to 50 people.
Madigan said since Phase One, they’ve begun hiring employees back and plan to be fully staffed in about a week.
Damon Tran, general manager at The Bone BBQ restaurant in Manassas, said the restaurant is looking forward to showing off some interior renovations that were completed during the shutdown. When the restaurant opens at 50% capacity inside Friday, diners will be able to grab a seat at its brand new bar. According to Tran, the full capacity inside the restaurant is about 80 people, so roughly 40 people will be allowed inside during Phase Two.
“We’re extremely optimistic about it. I feel that people will actually want to be inside, it looks completely different than the last time you saw it,” Tran said.
Between takeout, delivery and the patio that’s been open to diners for two weeks, Tran said the restaurant has been recovering well from the shutdown, and opening indoor seating should only help. “I believe we should be relatively OK,” Tran said.
At City Tavern in Old Town, manager Raff Brooks was more lukewarm about how things have been under Phase One. The restaurant was able to expand its patio into the street to provide more room between tables. Outside, they’ve had 36 chairs for patrons.
Brooks said they probably wouldn’t be able to get all the way up to half of the building’s capacity while adhering to the six-foot rule, but he’s been encouraged that many diners have shown an eagerness to get back out to restaurants.
“We’ve gotten a very positive response from our guests, and they’ve really appreciated that we’re making the effort to keep them safe, plus they all love to to get back out,” Brooks said.
Staff members are being asked to check their temperature before coming in, and then are being checked again once they arrive, Brooks said. Additionally, employees will be cleaning all common surfaces every hour. The restaurant had to have a reorientation for employees to go over new cleaning and distancing guidelines as well.
All told, Brooks said about 60% of the restaurant’s staff will be back starting Friday.
“It won’t be what it used to be … but you gotta stay positive, we’re positive with all of this. We’re hoping for the best,” Brooks said. “It’s still not what we were designed to do, but we understand there’s still a public health crisis going on and we have to do our part, so we’re grateful for everything that we can do.”