Some restaurants in Phoenix have started gradually started reopening their dining rooms, which have been closed for dine-in service since the coronavirus crisis took hold of the country in March.
Government officials announced that Arizona restaurants, including those in Phoenix, could reopen starting May 11. Officials offered certain guidelines, such as sanitizing food contact surfaces, having employees wear face coverings when near customers, and avoiding the use of shared items such as menus and condiments. Restaurants are directed to operate at reduced capacity depending on the size of the location.
As of Tuesday, Arizona had seen a total of 11,380 coronavirus cases, with 542 deaths. According to Maricopa County records, 5,915 were located in that county, up 164 from the day before, with 240 deaths in the county that houses Phoenix.
The Phoenix New Times has been aggregating a list of reopening restaurants, which range from Dominick’s Steakhouse in Scottsdale to all Arizona locations of pizza chain Fired Pie.
Restaurant dining rooms have started to reopen across the country in such states as Georgia, Tennessee, and Texas. That decision comes with challenges to restaurants and to public safety: Many restaurants do not have the capacity to seat patrons a proper distance apart from each other, and social distancing measures cannot be easily practiced in restaurant kitchens. Limits on capacity and other measures also present financial challenges to restaurant owners as they weigh whether to reopen. Some individuals in Arizona have already spoken up with concerns about the quick return to dine-in, and some restaurants drew major crowds around their opening.
• Arizona Guidance For Restaurants [Office of the Governor]
•.A Running List of Phoenix Restaurants Reopening the Week of May 11 [Phoenix New Times]
• Why Our Food Critic Won’t Be Eating at Restaurants When They Reopen [Phoenix New Times]