Business as unusual: Restaurants, retailers, libraries open in line with Florida 25 percent plan
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis' ordered a three-tiered plan to lift the stay-at-home orders starting Monday, but as businesses reopen owners and customers are feeling a range of emotions from elation to trepidation. (May 4) AP Domestic
体育在线365As the first phase of Gov. Ron DeSantis' “Safe. Smart. Step-by-Step, Plan for Florida’s Recovery“ began Monday, the doors of some of Tallahassee's businesses re-opened to customers.
But it was anything but business as usual.
体育在线365On the city's north side, Island Wing Company was a popular choice for lunch.
"We had I'd say almost a normal Monday," Osborne said. "And Monday's usually our slowest day."
体育在线365Under DeSantis' instruction, restaurants are permitted to serve customers with outdoor seating with 6-foot spacing between tables and indoor seating at 25% capacity.
Osborne estimated that their 25% capacity was nearly reached during lunchtime, equaling about 50 seats in the 200 seat eatery.
"We were happy to see that," Osborne said.
All of the restaurant's employees are required to wear masks and customers are provided with hands-free hand sanitizer pumps at each point of entry and bathrooms. Staff is also provided with their own hand sanitizer to use in addition to hand washing.
"Three months ago if you told me that we were going to see a 75% reduction in what we were allowed to have in here, I'd be like 'That's going to kill us,' but...." Osborne said. "Failure's not an option. We'll figure out some other way around this and make it work."
Osborne said he thinks Island Wing Company's large outdoor seating area and open floor plan will allow customers to feel more comfortable patronizing the restaurant.
体育在线365Hungry folks in CollegeTown flocked to Madison Social where the patio was full of groups of diners, one as big as 10, during Monday's lunch rush.
体育在线365Owner Matt Thompson didn't wish to comment on the restaurant's first day back open for seated service.
Down the road from Island Wing Company, Narcissus and its sister store, Pink Narcissus, also re-opened to in-store shoppers Monday.
体育在线365Like restaurants, retail stores are also limited to 25% capacity.
"Everybody's just a little more careful but very glad to be out and shopping," Narcissus Manager Julie Downs said.
体育在线365The store, which continues to also do curbside pick up for customers who don't wish to come into the store, has made some adaptations as they re-open like steaming clothes after they've been tried on and before they're put back on the rack.
体育在线365Downs estimated around 8 customers had visited the store before 1 p.m. She said about half were wearing masks.
"It's good to be open for people," Downs said.
体育在线365Pink Narcissus, the smaller sister store located just across the parking lot, is currently only allowing two customers in to shop at one time.
"We have been delightfully busy," Laura Wittenberg, Pink Narcissus store manager said.
She estimated that they had about 10 customers come to the Lily Pulizter signature store before 1 p.m.
体育在线365"As soon as clothes are tried on, if they're not purchased, they go into our quarantine room and then we steam out the clothes at 400 degrees before we put them back on the floor," Wittenberg said.
Wittenberg said each customer is escorted in and out the door by a staff member to keep door handles clean and check out is hands-free.
Libraries are also included in the first phase of DeSantis' plan, allowing Leroy Collins Leon County Public Library to provide library card holders with curbside pick up service for books they've placed on hold and a chance to return books for the first time since March.
体育在线365Library Director Debra Sears said they anticipated that many books would be returned Monday.
The returning process, which has been designated to a rolling bin on the sidewalk outside the library, has been adapted to the times.
体育在线365"When (books) come back, we do not check them in," Sears said. "We put them in quarantine for 72 hours minimum before they actually get checked in."
体育在线365Library card holders are welcome to continue to put items on hold and will be notified when those items are ready to be picked up.
体育在线365Curbside pick-up will begin at all six of the other Leon County Public Library branches Tuesday.
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