Phase One of reopening Montgomery County went into effect Monday morning. This allows restaurants to offer outdoor seating with restrictions, including maintaining social distancing between patrons.
Bassett’s Restaurant in Poolesville has opened outdoor dining in their parking lot and a Silver Diner in Rio Lakefront has expanded seating into a space that usually belongs to a movie theater.
Day 1 of Phase 1 in Montgomery County.. outdoor dining is allowed. Silver Diner in Rio had customers sitting outside this morning. The restaurant temporarily expanded its outdoor seating into space that usually belongs to the movie theater. @mymcmedia pic.twitter.com/5oEmzyuRy0
— Maryam Shahzad (@maryam_mcm) June 1, 2020
Other restaurants such as Knowles Station Wine & Co in Kensington are opting to wait a few more days to ensure that their staff is prepared. Knowles Station plans to reopen on Thursday according to a post on their Instagram.
To further ensure the comfort of its customers, Knowles Station will have its reopening plan on its website. They are also trying new measures, such as digital menus to provide more contactless service, according to General Manager Bill Townsend.
“My main goal is to ensure that we can provide the same service, safety, health of our guests as well as our staff,” said Townsend.
There are three ways for restaurants to go about opening outdoor dining, according to the Montgomery County Government website.
If a restaurant already has a designated outdoor area, in order to reopen it, they must obtain a permit to do so as well as make sure they are following Montgomery County’s COVID-19 Restaurants Checklist.
— suzanne pollak (@SuzannePollak) June 1, 2020
If a restaurant wants to change its outdoor space or create a new area for dining, they must apply for the permit, review the checklist, and apply for a “Temporary Business Modification.”
The third option for restaurants is to create a temporary outside dining area in a street or public space by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Montgomery County Government has created a document to guide restaurants through these steps here.