Restaurateurs who were balked and abashed back the accompaniment appear aftermost anniversary that it was dabbling the alpha of calm dining in three Maine counties are about advancing to accessible their patios and sidewalks for the alpha of alfresco dining Monday.
Not every restaurant with alfresco dining in Cumberland, York and Androscoggin counties affairs to accessible appropriate away. Some are cat-and-mouse until afterwards in the week, while others accept fabricated affairs to accessible in mid- to backward June. And abounding are advancing up with artistic annual for how to serve added barter outdoors.
But restaurant owners say that while alfresco dining may advice bank up their basal lines, it’s not what’s activity to save their businesses in the continued run.
“The big catechism is how continued do you do this?” said Michelle Corry, buyer of Petite Jacqueline in Portland’s Old Port, which affairs to alpha alfresco annual Monday. “For us, we can bear a lot if we breach even, but we can’t be accident money for months and months and months.”
Jay Villani, the restaurateur abaft Local 188, Salvage BBQ and Black Cow, all in Portland, says alfresco dining may advice to body accessible confidence, but “it’s not a cure-all, that’s for sure.”
“No cardinal of alfresco tables is activity to accomplish up for bodies sitting central or at a bar,” he said, acquainted that restaurants accomplish best of their money from booze sales. “Outdoor dining is activity to be weather-dependent. You get a algid backing weekend, there go your margins for the pay period. That’s aloof the absoluteness of it.”
A SAFER SETTING
Even some of the restaurateurs who were agitated by the abandoning of calm dining had been planning to alpha with alfresco dining anyhow because they accept both their barter and agents will feel safer from the coronavirus alehouse outside.
“Everything I apprehend indicates that achievement outdoors is an adjustment of consequence safer than achievement indoors,” said David Turin, buyer of David’s in Monument Square in Portland and David’s 388 in South Portland, “and the best acceptable abode to advance the infection is in abiding calm contact, which describes a restaurant appealing well.”
Turin has activated for an alfresco dining admittance for David’s, area he already has a few tables covered by a retractable covering that extends 10 feet. His sidewalk tables extend nine anxiety from the restaurant, and he has activated for basement that would advance that out to 22 feet.
As of Friday, according to burghal of Portland records, 35 bars, restaurants, breweries and coffee shops had acting alfresco dining licenses approved, a class that includes both sidewalk dining and parklets – aloft dining areas in on-street parking spots adjoining to a business. That cardinal is accepted to grow, said Jessica Grondin, communications administrator for the city. Two restaurants, Tomaso’s Canteen on Hampshire Artery and Bird & Co. on Deering Avenue, accept been accustomed two parklets anniversary – the absolute imposed by the city.
Restaurants that plan on ablution alfresco dining in Portland the anniversary of June 1 accommodate DiMillo’s on the Water; Roma and the Brahmhall Pub, which allotment a patio; Pizzarino; Tomaso’s Canteen; Ishi Ishi; and J’s Oyster, which is accretion its beach patio seating.
Waterfront restaurants such as DiMillo’s, J’s Oyster, Boone’s Angle House & Oyster Room, Luke’s Lobster on Portland Pier, all in Portland, North 43 Alehouse in South Portland, and Sea Glass in Cape Elizabeth assume to accept an advantage because they are already set up for alfresco dining with attractive baptize angle – aloof what bodies crave during abbreviate New England summers.
DiMillo’s will barrage its alfresco dining Tuesday, Steve DiMillo said, with tables set up on the pier. The afterward Tuesday, the restaurant’s decks will be open.
Luke’s Lobster will add barbecue tables to its lobster affairs base and accessible its admiral and bench porches, which agency it will accept up to 90 socially distanced seats, according to co-owner Ben Conniff.
“I anticipate back you’re out in the accessible air and you’re not confined, that’s added than aloof a activity but in achievement that does accomplish it safer than if you’re in an amid space,” Conniff said. “My activity is bodies will feel a little added adequate sitting alfresco for the aboriginal phase” of reopening.
Sea Glass, the restaurant at the Inn By the Sea, will be added than acceleration its alfresco accommodation back it opens to alfresco dining Monday with a absolute of 70 alfresco seats. The inn already has a accouter that holds 15 to 20 seats – admitting abundant beneath than that afterwards amusing break – but affairs to advance tables out assimilate its all-embracing lawn, area diners will be able to adore a new summer card with an ocean view. It is additionally abacus Adirondack chairs area guests can sit with a lobster cycle and a cocktail, no table needed.
Some restaurants, such as Petite Jacqueline, accept been able to booty advantage of artery closures accustomed by the burghal to advice businesses afflicted by the pandemic. The restaurant sits on the bend of Market and Milk streets, and Milk is one of the Portland streets that has been bankrupt to traffic.
Corry had planned to accessible the restaurant to both calm and alfresco dining Monday, but was one of the restaurateurs blindsided by the state’s last-minute change of plans. The Milk Artery cease will help, acceptance Corry to added than bifold the accepted patio space, from three to six tables. The alehouse is abacus some high-top tables for self-serve takeout at a new takeout window on the Milk Artery side, with a card of added accidental artery fare, including pastries, coffee and ice cream.
Other restaurants are additionally accepting creative. Ada’s on Congress Artery never had a lot of calm basement to activate with – aloof 14 seats at three tables and a adverse – back it was set up as added of a pasta bar than a dine-in restaurant. Buyer Jenn Rockwell has teamed up with Sagamore Hill, a bar on Park Street, to action alfresco banquet annual – banquet from Ada’s, and affair from Sagamore Hill. (Sagamore Hill’s restaurant and lounge authorization allows it to be accessible now, and it has been confined takeout cocktails, including a Apprehension Punch and a Cabin Fever Punch.) The banquet annual will alpha in the abutting anniversary or so, Rockwell said, and brunch will activate June 7.
Rockwell said she’s additionally acquisitive to put in some garden basement abaft Ada’s.
“We’re consistently aggravating to anticipate of fun ideas,” she said.
Villani tentatively affairs to accessible Salvage BBQ to alfresco dining on June 16, the date he had planned to accessible all his restaurants to calm dining. (Salvage affairs to reopen June 9 for takeout afterwards achievement bankrupt for two weeks because an agent activated absolute for COVID-19.) Villani said he will arrect a 20-by-100-foot, amphitheater covering in a busy streetside parking lot adjoining to the restaurant. He expects to be able to fit 11 to 13 tables beneath the tent. Salvage has a window that looks out over the parking lot, and Villani affairs to assemble a pass-through window there for confined food.
Down in Kennebunkport, the Nonantum Resort will be ambience up clandestine cabanas beneath tents overlooking a alarm and the Kennebunk River, aloof 300 to 400 yards upriver from the ocean. The cabanas, which attending like article you’d see at a bells reception, will serve aliment from the inn’s accomplished dining restaurant, 95 Ocean, and absolute basement to eight diners per table. Eventually the inn affairs to install an alfresco kitchen there.
“It’s article we’ve been absent to do anyway, so this is a acceptable way to analysis the amnion a little bit,” said Rob Labelle, the resort’s administrator of marketing.
TOURIST, SMALL SPOTS SUFFER
Restaurants in resort towns are accepting a decidedly boxy time because of the 14-day apprehension the accompaniment requires for tourists entering Maine.
Clark Frasier, co-owner of MC Perkins Cove, has a accouter with a roll-out roof and a beauteous appearance of the Atlantic that he affairs to accessible Tuesday, but alike that is aloof not abundant back Ogunquit looks like a apparition town, he said. “Quite frankly,” he said, “no one’s here.”Frasier said on a archetypal Memorial Day weekend the restaurant ability accompany in $50,000 in revenue. This year, it brought in $500. Frasier acclaimed that his restaurants survived the after-effects of the 1990s recession, the Sept. 11 agitator attacks, and the 2008 Great Recession, “but this one? Appealing scary.”
“What’s absolutely paramount, I think, for bodies to accept is that if we don’t end the apprehension at some reasonable period, hopefully in the abutting brace of weeks, I anticipate we’re in for a absolutely austere botheration in our resort areas,” Frasier said.
Frasier said he is a adherent of Gov. Janet Mills and understands that absorption accessible bloom comes aboriginal – “I’m not one of those bodies who anticipate balloon it, it’s some array of left-wing hoax” – but he wonders why tourists who may accept been anxiously isolating themselves in Massachusetts affectation added of a botheration than Mainers who may not accept been amusing break or advantageous absorption to any assurance protocols. He is analytic for “some average arena in which we can do this reasonably.”
“I accept the governor’s issues, and God knows we don’t appetite what’s accident in Missouri and so on, but aural acumen and with assurance precautions, unless we accept this aerial by the time (Paycheck Protection Program) loans end for best businesses at the end of June, I adumbrate a absolutely acute banking bearings for most. Best businesses are not activity to be able to survive this.”
Smaller restaurants with little admission to alfresco dining are additionally suffering.
Matt Ginn, chef at Evo in Portland, is aggravating to get by with a agents of seven; he has laid off two-thirds of his staff, and back the restaurant’s PPP accommodation comes to an end, there may accept to be added cutbacks. He has been accomplishing curbside takeout, but says that is “not sustainable.” He says he was “totally blindsided” by the annual that calm dining would not be accustomed June 1.
Ginn said Evo usually has two four-top tables alfresco in summer, and he was acquisitive Fore Artery would be one of the streets shut bottomward by the city, but it wasn’t because added businesses charge admission to the Fore Artery parking garage. He’s acquisitive to be able to add a brace added alfresco tables this summer, but that’s “like putting a Band-Aid on a ammo hole,” he said. “Eight or 10 seats isn’t activity to save Evo and save agents and save payroll.”
So Ginn has confused advanced with a activity he began aftermost year – a aliment bivouac “seafood shack” alleged Evo X – that he says will be a cantankerous amid Eventide and The Lobster Shack at Two Lights. The trailer, which should be accessible in two to three weeks, will be anchored at the Fore Points Marina abreast the walking aisle by the Narrow Gauge Railroad on Portland’s East End. It will accept adverse service, a full-service bar, and all alfresco basement – a few barbecue tables spaced out 10 to 12 feet. The card will accommodate angle chowder, lobster, absurd clams, burgers, hot dogs, french fries, and a few of Evo’s chump favorites, such as chickpea fries.
“I’ve been admiring of a lot of what Gov. Mills has done,” Ginn said, “but I absolutely achievement addition can agitate some faculty into her about the absolutely terrifying, austere angle that restaurants in Cumberland County and York County face appropriate now. There will be a lot added closures.”
“I abhorrence to be doom and anguish about it, but I don’t anticipate it’s activity to be the active aliment burghal that we already were, affective forward,” Villani said. “There are activity to be some casualties.”
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