Restaurants reopening post covid-19 in Downtown Mobile

Mobile County

MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — Restaurants in Downtown Mobile continue to re-open.

SOCU Southern Kitchen and Oyster Bar opened for dining services Friday, June 12th. This nearly four-weeks after Governor Kay Ivey loosened restrictions on restaurants. Owner Erica Barrett said there was a lot to consider post covid in order to re-open her restaurant. She had to re-train her staff and completely change the way they do business.

“We’re probably one of the last restaurants to open,” said Barrett.

As many restaurants quickly embraced opening their doors for dine-in.

“She that we could open Monday at 5 pm. We opened Tuesday mourning,” said Shae Daugbwag, Manager of Spot of Tea.

The black-owned restaurant SOCU Southern Kitchen and Oyster Bar, in Downtown Mobile, was created by mobile-native and celebrity chef, Erica Barrett. She said she wanted to make sure when she re-opened that it was done the right way. By making sure all of her staff was equipped to handle the demand of this virus. 

“We’ve controlled our environment. We cut down the seating capacity to 50%. We don’t overload the dining area. We space things out 6-feet apart. We feel like we can safely serve our customers. I wanted to feel 100% confident that we could do that,” said Barrett.

Just a few blocks away from SOCU Southern Kitchen and Oyster Bar, Spot of Tea has made similar changes. 

“Everything inside is disposable. Like everything is disposable. So we made sure to stock up on all of that. Hand sanitizer stands. All of our tables are measured 10-feet apart. So we lost some tables on the inside. We added more to the outside,” said Daugbwag.

The pandemic has allowed many restaurants to explore how they conduct business to help flatten the curve while curbing your appetite.

“The new normal is clean. It’s giving your customers confidence that you’re clean,” said Barrett.

Although this restaurant is back open for dine-in. Barrett said the demand for take-out is still high. Which makes her wonder what’s to come for the restaurant industry.

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