As the COVID-19 crisis eases, restaurants have been allowed to reopen, but there are many restrictions to get the job done with the safety of staff and diners top of mind. Things such as limited occupancy, tables spaced to allow for social distancing, face masks and gloves required for service and kitchen staff, and customers required to wear masks, too, except when seated to eat and drink. Reservations are a requirement at most eateries. Many restaurants are continuing their takeout and curbside service options.
Please visit tinyurl.com/sdq54uk for a list by area codes of eateries that are open for takeout, curbside and dine-in. We continually update the list.
Here’s an update on what a few chefs are doing:
• Franco Pisani, owner of Paravicini’s Italian Bistro and Sopra Antipasto & Wine Bar in Old Colorado City, said, “We are going to focus on Paravicini’s first, opening about the 6th of June. We have to do lot of training and get the dining room back in order. It’s been the to-go station, so we have to revert back to a restaurant now.”
He will continue curbside service for those who are not comfortable dining in yet. He’s also continuing his popular lively Wednesday evening cooking classes on Facebook Live.
“They have been a huge success,” he said of the classes.
If you haven’t seen or taken one of the virtual classes, what are you waiting for? He posts the week’s menu Mondays on his Facebook page. You pick up all the ingredients the day of the class to make an entrée that feeds four, plus plenty of leftovers. A salad and bread are included. Cost is $50. A bottle of wine is an additional charge. The class is live at 5 p.m. Wednesdays and usually last 15 to 20 minutes. Then you have dinner for your family to enjoy together.
• Brother Luck, owner of Four by Brother Luck and Lucky Dumpling downtown, opened both of his eateries last weekend. During the shutdown, he experimented with Facebook Live cooking classes and, like Pisani, wants to keep doing them.
“I will definitely keep doing the cooking videos because it’s become a fun date night for so many people, but also Tina (his wife) and myself enjoy them too,” he said.
He usually posts the class menu Wednesdays on Facebook. Classes are at 5 p.m. Saturdays. Cost is $60 for an entrée, appetizer or snack that feed four. Often cocktail or beer are included. The class lasts about an hour.
• Randy Price, president of Rocky Mountain Restaurant Group, which operates multiple Urban Egg locations and a Salsa Brava, opened all his eateries Monday.
“My team leaders all felt the extra couple days for training in PPE (personal protective equipment) and working on Exceptional Points of Service with our masks will pay off in the long run,” he emailed. “We are ready to get back to work.”
• Sarah Mishler, chief brand and strategy officer for The Blue Star Group, which recently opened Stellina Pizza Café, said last week that there is not a clear date in mind for opening to dine-in service. “We will continue with takeout only. Guests can enjoy their takeout on our patio on a first-come, first-serve basis. We continue to be vigilant and sanitize our tables after each guest. However, to keep our team members safe and healthy our dining room and bathrooms will remain closed to the public. We will keep watching, waiting and cautiously considering what is the safest plan to open our restaurant which will keep our team members and the community healthy.”
• Sahin Vural, owner of Troy Mediterranean restaurant, who opened his eatery in the former Mamma Pearl’s Cajun Kitchen location in early March, said, “I’m going to continue doing takeout and delivery. It’s been good for me and I have had trouble hiring wait staff. They are making more money on unemployment.”
• Evelyn Steel, owner of Nourish Organic Juice, 303 E. Pikes Peak Ave., has temporarily closed. She was planning to move to another location downtown but pushed the pause button when the COVID-19 crisis hit.
“I am not ready to reopen yet” she said. “I would like to see how everything goes before I spend the money to open a new location. I may wait a few months — I’m not sure,” she said in an email.
Other juicy news
Qwench Juice Bar, 9278 Forest Bluffs View, opened in January. The California-based chain serves fresh-squeezed juice, protein shakes, classic smoothies, acai and food bowls. Hours are 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, and, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays and Sundays. Details: 344-8194, facebook.com/pg/Qwench AtBriargate.
Contact the writer: 636-0271.