Phase 1: Scenes from Restaurant Row

Written By Scott Joseph On May 6, 2020

Phase1 rocco patio

While fetching takeout on Restaurant Row Tuesday – from The Whiskey; review coming soon – I had the opportunity to observe how some of the other restaurants there were operating under the Phase 1 reopening rules.

Those rules, which went into effect Monday, permit restaurants to allow in-house dining again but only at 25 percent of capacity. What that means isn’t clear, even to restaurant owners. Is it 25 percent of what the fire marshal says is safe occupancy? If so, does that include the number of staff members on duty? Or is it a quarter of the number of tables? Or chairs?

The point may be moot for the time being – it would seem that more than 75 percent of the dining public is still staying home, or availing takeout and delivery.

Southeast 9 23 Bosch

Phase1 rocco outdoor

Phase1 rocco dr

That didn’t appear to be the case at Rocco’s Tacos, at least not at first. There were a lot of people there – it was Cinco de Mayo after all. Most of them were outdoors, where the Phase 1 guidelines suggest unlimited numbers may gather as long as a six-foot-separation protocol is observed. It was startling after so many weeks to see such a large group of people. But not having my tape measure with me, I have to assume the proper distance was maintained. (Though I peeked inside and saw at least two tables with six or more people, who I am guessing were not all members of the same household.) And all staff were wearing masks.

Phase1 amso entry

Phase1 amso bar

The staff wore masks at American Social, too. (For the record, I wore mine, too.) AmSo also had put up belted stanchions to demark ingress and egress routes so patrons wouldn’t have to pass one another. Another belt roped off the barstools so that no one could sit there. 

Phase1 big fin

Big Fin Seafood Kitchen was making the most of its covered patio area. I did not observe any other restaurants at Dellagio making use of outdoor seating.

Phase1 seasons dr

Seasons 52’s dining room had proper distancing between seated tables. The atmosphere there seemed sedate. Perhaps the patrons there felt safe knowing that a sign on the front door forbade anyone with the virus from entering.

Phase1 seasons door

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