South Walton Area Restaurants: Food & Dining Updates [COVID19]

Discussion in 'Dining and Food' started by Teresa, Mar 28, 2020.

  1. Teresa

    Teresa SoWal Guide Staff Member

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    COVID-19 | Area Restaurants

    On March 20, Governor Ron DeSantis signed an executive order mandating restaurants stop serving customers except for take-out and delivery. While all dining-in is closed, many South Walton area restaurants are offering to-go service, curbside pickup, online ordering, alcohol to go, and delivery service.

    A great many area restaurants in Walton County and all along the Emerald Coast are serving food and beverages (alcohol) while meeting health and safety regulations as required to operate. We are listing as many as we can in the SoWal Community Forums | Food & Dining to keep readers up to date on restaurant services offered, links, menus and info.

    We are also listing restaurants temporarily closed during the pandemic due to many factors.
    CLOSED Restaurants: updates on restaurants temporarily closed in SoWal area

    We're seeing a lot of innovation by our restaurants. Overnight, restaurants transformed their business models and websites, offering various services: fine dining to comfort foods, bottles of wine, beer and liquor, family style menus, online ordering, grocery/paper products in addition to prepared foods for pickup, curbside pickup, a margarita ready to mix with a small bottle of tequila, sushi, seafood, and just about anything you are craving as you #StayHome.

    Food shopping is another category we're trying to cover here including seafood markets and small grocery stores which are mostly open but with some restrictions.

    We encourage our community to rally and support our locally owned businesses and their hard working staff during this challenging time. We all need food so order to go! Consider purchasing online gift cards for gifts or later use. One of our readers suggested donating restaurant gift cards to our front line responders.

    Follow our businesses and restaurants on social media to keep up with updates and changes. Share their posts to spread the word about their outstanding service in our community.

    While we're listing many restaurants and food markets here, we can't possible cover all. If you have food news, please feel free to share and post here in Food & Dining Forum.

    Please see individual forum discussion threads for information on restaurants. We will keep you updated as much as possible.


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    On March 20, Governor Ron DeSantis issued Executive Order 20-71, directing all restaurants and food establishments within the State of Florida to suspend on-premises food and alcohol consumption for customers. The listed establishments may, however, operate their kitchens for the purpose of providing delivery or take-out services.

    This Executive Order lifts the restriction that prohibits a specially licensed food service establishment from package sales of alcohol for delivery, take-out or consumption off-premises for restaurants complying with Executive Order 20-68, through the expiration of the state of emergency declared in Executive Order 20-52. Alcohol sales to go with food that is pick-up or delivered will be permitted and I.D. will be required for orders including alcohol. The Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) shall utilize its authorities under Florida law to further implement and enforce the provisions of this Executive Order and shall take additional measures as necessary to protect the public health, safety and welfare.

    Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association: FRLA COVID-19 Resource Page

    COVID19 Official Resources:
     
  2. Teresa

    Teresa SoWal Guide Staff Member

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    Wired Magazine:
    While Many Restaurants Struggle, Here's How One Is Thriving
    The food service industry is facing pandemic-related layoffs and closings, but tech-savvy chef Eric Rivera is using online platforms to keep his business in the black.
    While Many Restaurants Struggle, Here's How One Is Thriving
     
  3. Teresa

    Teresa SoWal Guide Staff Member

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    Read about local restaurants serving great food to go!
    We're keeping a list here in #SoWal Dining Forum: https://sowal.com/forum/forums/dining-and-food.14/

    OPEN restaurants are listed in the dining forum. We are keeping those threads up to date when we hear from our restaurants about their menus, food and drink options, etc.

    Thank you for reading! Please post here about your food experience.
     
  4. Teresa

    Teresa SoWal Guide Staff Member

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    Hello!

    While some restaurants have closed since we started keeping a list of South Walton area restaurants OPEN for takout/delivery, it appears many, if not most, are still OPEN and serving the community. For some, menus have been modified and for others, delivery options are now available. Family style meals to full menus and alcoholic beverages are offered. Some restaurants are only open for a special weekend Crawfish boil, etc.

    Keep an eye on the SoWal Food & Dining Forum. We're keeping a list and updating restaurant threads with new information and food news. Post about your restaurant or send us your news.

    Support our local restaurants! Order lunch or dinner! Buy gift certificates! We hope to see everyone open soon.

    Cheers!
    Teresa

    photo:
    Borago was the first local restaurant we heard from that announced they were closing the dining room and offering takeout only for dinner, even before this requirement went into effect in Florida. They are still serving dinner curbside takeout. Visit boragorestaurant.com to view the menu and call 850.213.4156 to place your order. Grayton Beach

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  5. MrSunshine

    MrSunshine Beach Lover

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    Bolognese and Eggplant Lasagna are great take out dishes (at least last night they were). Warning: the cheesecake dessert special was fantastic - at least until I got on the scale this morning!
     
  6. Teresa

    Teresa SoWal Guide Staff Member

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    New York Times
    April 23, 2020

    My Restaurant Was My Life for 20 Years. Does the World Need It Anymore?
    Forced to shutter Prune, I’ve been revisiting my original dreams for it — and wondering if there will still be a place for it in the New York of the future.

    I, like hundreds of other chefs across the city and thousands around the country, are now staring down the question of what our restaurants, our careers, our lives, might look like if we can even get them back.

    I don’t know whom to follow or what to think. Everyone says: “You should do to-go! You should sell gift cards! You should offer delivery! You need a social media presence! You should pivot to groceries! You should raise your prices — a branzino is $56 at Via Carota!”

    I have thought for many long minutes, days, weeks of confinement and quarantine, should I? Is that what Prune should do and what Prune should become?

    I cannot see myself excitedly daydreaming about the third-party delivery-ticket screen I will read orders from all evening. I cannot see myself sketching doodles of the to-go boxes I will pack my food into so that I can send it out into the night, anonymously, hoping the poor delivery guy does a good job and stays safe. I don’t think I can sit around dreaming up menus and cocktails and fantasizing about what would be on my playlist just to create something that people will order and receive and consume via an app. I started my restaurant as a place for people to talk to one another, with a very decent but affordable glass of wine and an expertly prepared plate of simply braised lamb shoulder on the table to keep the conversation flowing, and ran it as such as long as I could. If this kind of place is not relevant to society, then it — we — should become extinct.

    And yet even with the gate indefinitely shut against the coronavirus, I’ve been dreaming again, but this time I’m not at home fantasizing about a restaurant I don’t even yet have the keys to. This time I’ve been sitting still and silent, inside the shuttered restaurant I already own, that has another 10 years on the lease. I spend hours inside each day, on a wooden chair, in the empty clean space with the windows papered up, and I listen to the coolers hum, the compressor click on and off periodically, the thunder that echoes up from the basement as the ice machine drops its periodic sheet of thick cubes into the insulated bin. My body has a thin blue thread of electricity coursing through it. Sometimes I rearrange the tables. For some reason, I can’t see wanting deuces anymore: No more two-tops? What will happen come Valentine’s Day?

    It’s no mystery why this prolonged isolation has made me find the tiny 24-square-inch tables that I’ve been cramming my food and my customers into for 20 years suddenly repellent. I want round tables, big tables, six-people tables, eight-tops. Early supper, home before midnight. Long, lingering civilized Sunday lunches with sun streaming in through the front French doors. I want old regulars to wander back into the kitchen while I lift the lids off the pots and show them what there is to eat. I want to bring to their tables small dishes of the feta cheese I’ve learned to make these long idle weeks, with a few slices of the saucisson sec I’ve been hanging downstairs to cure while we wait to reopen, and to again hear Greg rattle the ice, shaking perfectly proportioned Vespers that he pours right to the rim of the chilled glass without spilling over.

    I have been shuttered before. With no help from the government, Prune has survived 9/11, the blackout, Hurricane Sandy, the recession, months of a city water-main replacement, online reservations systems — you still have to call us on the telephone, and we still use a pencil and paper to take reservations! We’ve survived the tyranny of convenience culture and the invasion of Caviar, Seamless and Grubhub. So I’m going to let the restaurant sleep, like the beauty she is, shallow breathing, dormant. Bills unpaid. And see what she looks like when she wakes up — so well rested, young all over again, in a city that may no longer recognize her, want her or need her.

    Full story
    My Restaurant Was My Life for 20 Years. Does the World Need It Anymore?
     
  7. Teresa

    Teresa SoWal Guide Staff Member

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    Gov. Ron DeSantis outlined his plans for re-opening the state of Florida, which he said will begin on Monday May 4th.

    Dine-In restaurants and retail stores can re-open but will be limited to 25% of their capacity. Restaurants can use outdoor seating if the tables are six-feet apart.

    Under phase one of the re-opening plan, elective surgeries will also be allowed to resume.

    SWFD would like to remind you that you should continue to practice social distancing, washing your hands regularly and avoid touching your face.

    For more on the governor’s executive order visit:
    Executive Orders

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  8. Teresa

    Teresa SoWal Guide Staff Member

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    SoWal Food News

    South Walton restaurants are preparing to reopen for on-site dining starting Monday May 4 [25% capacity with social distancing guidelines].

    Restaurants are also continuing to offer curbside pickup and/or delivery for your dining options. We are so thankful for our local restaurants and businesses. You are the heart of the community. Thank you for working so hard to meet the challenges during this time.

    Keep us posted about your updates, menus, changes etc. Post here with the name if the restaurant in thread title. Or send me your information via email or private message.
     
  9. Teresa

    Teresa SoWal Guide Staff Member

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    5 Ways Restaurants Are Adapting Right Now
    Facing unprecedented challenges, small restaurateurs are finding clever ways to stay afloat.

    Apr 15, 2020
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    The Russell is a fast-casual restaurant in Kansas City, Missouri, that cooks everything over the open flame of an Argentinian fire table. Lunchtime orders used to provide the bulk of its business. That is, until Mid-March, when the city issued stay-at-home orders like those in cities spanning from San Francisco to New York — a critical measure needed to flatten the curve of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, but one that put The Russell’s livelihood in peril.

    Like restaurateurs everywhere, owners Amante Domingo and Heather White faced a tough choice — to furlough staff and close shop for the foreseeable future, or adapt. Seeing an opportunity to remain in business while serving their community’s shifting needs, the pair worked quickly.

    “We used Square Online Store to make a virtual restaurant: a marketplace that has all the basic necessities a house would need,” says Domingo, who is also head chef. “We also made curbside and delivery options available.” The Russell Market now offers ready-made meals for adults and children; baked goods like muffins, cupcakes, and cookies; wine and beer; and pantry staples.

    Many menu items rotate daily, and everything is prepared from scratch. Domingo adds: “If it’s raining outside, we’ll make a hundred pot pies ready to pick up. So, we’ve adapted not only to people’s needs, but even to the weather.”

    The pivot that allowed The Russell to keep its doors open, and its employees working, is not an isolated story. Across the country, thousands of businesses are shifting their models rapidly to better support both themselves and their communities while social-distancing orders remain in place.

    In a world that’s been quickly upended by the novel coronavirus, here are five ways that small business owners are adapting to meet these unprecedented challenges.

    1. Becoming bodegas and wholesalers.
    It’s an understatement to say our food supply chain has undergone a massive shift. The switch to at-home cooking means restaurants are using far less food than usual, while supermarkets are selling out of basics. Some restaurants are seeing that gap, and using their supplies to help their communities stock up.

    Stay Golden is a restaurant, coffee roaster, and bar in Nashville, Tennessee — an area recently hit hard by both a tornado and a state of emergency in early March due to COVID-19. “We had to figure out how we could continue meeting needs in our community,” says Jamie Cunningham, founder and director of hospitality. “We shifted our focus outward, figuring out what we could do to make people’s lives better.”

    The Stay Golden team set up an online ordering page with Square and started providing “survival packs” — family-style dinners; reheatable meals; cocktails; and pantry staples like flour, butter, and toilet paper — that customers can order online and pick up curbside.

    [​IMG]
    2. Selling gift cards.
    Gift cards provide restaurants with much-needed cash flow as revenue takes a downturn — helping small business owners pay rent and stay in business. Restaurateurs Cory and Silvia McCollow, owners of Oakland restaurants Nido and Backyard, are using the income to support staff. “In our most recent newsletter, we announced that all gift card sales from now until we’re back to normal are going to staff,” says Cory McCollow. “So far, we’ve seen a huge influx in online gift card purchases.”

    Purchasing a gift card to your favorite restaurants is incredibly meaningful right now. It’s a gesture that says, We appreciate you, and trust you’ll be back to business soon. Cory says many purchasers add notes saying things like: “I don’t even want to use this, I’m just doing it to donate to your staff. We’ll come in and pay full price when we’re allowed to.”

    If you need help finding a local spot that could use your support, start by searching Square’s Give & Get Local directory to find neighborhood restaurants and businesses selling gift cards.

    3. Inspiring our at-home meals.
    The city-dweller who stores sweaters in her stove might be a slight exaggeration — but, social distancing means that many of us are now cooking the majority of our meals at home for the first time in — maybe ever? Local bars and restaurants are finding ways to capitalize on this shift by providing inspiration to rusty and first-time home cooks, with social media how-tos on cooking comfort foods from roast chicken to pastries. And “virtual tip jars” are helping support chefs until they can get back in the kitchen.

    In addition to their expanded offerings in the Market, The Russell is staying in close contact with customers, emailing twice a day with updates and posting cooking lessons on social media. It’s part of Domingo’s determination to continue serving his customers.

    “Just because we can’t engage with them in person doesn’t mean we can’t engage on the internet using the marketing tools available to us,” he says. “The real fans and the real people who love your business will continue to open emails.”

    4. Supporting frontline workers.
    Doctors, nurses, and others in the healthcare industry, as well as other essential service providers, are performing more critical services than ever — and in the communities hit hardest by the pandemic, they’re also working longer hours than ever. Lauren Crabbe, owner of San Francisco mini-chain Andytown Coffee Roasters realized that many people in her community were eager to support local businesses and frontline workers — and introduced an ingenious way to connect the two.

    With Andytown’s new “Coffee For Heroes” initiative, customers can purchase drinks and pastries for healthcare professionals working at local hospitals and senior care facilities. “It’s keeping us in business because people are still buying coffee,” Crabbe says. “But the coffee they’re buying isn’t going to them, it’s going to a hospital. It’s a gift our customers have given us, [and] we get to brighten people’s days.”

    [​IMG]
    5. Ramping up their delivery and takeout business.
    For restaurants still open, delivery and takeout offer a lifeline for their business. However, not all restaurants had online-ordering capabilities when the shutdowns were announced. To help bridge the gap, Square offers a platform that allows restaurants to create an online store quickly and easily, with no fees — that’s a big win for small restaurants, where every dollar counts.

    The ability to take online orders is critical for businesses like Lada Ladies, a San Antonio-based food truck and catering company, co-owned by sisters Sandra Lira and Elaine Lira-Dean. Previously, most of their business had come from catering events and corporate clients; now, it’s all about takeout. But social-distancing mandates limit the number of people allowed to be at the truck at one time — so the co-owners needed a new process to serve food quickly and safely. The pair set up an online ordering page, allowing customers to choose their meals and pay before arriving at the truck.

    “[When they arrive,] we’ve asked our customers to stay in their vehicles until they are texted to receive their order,” Lira-Dean says. “Only one person at a time will come to our counter, and we stay in the food truck to keep our distance. We’ve relied heavily on our Square online ordering system. This has come in handy to keep up with the contactless guidelines.”

    With social distancing mandates still being extended, some restaurateurs see these strategies not as temporary measures, but as part of a new way of doing business which will continue to require adaptation and agility. Jamie Cunningham of Stay Golden sees the benefits of curbside now, and in the future. “I think our community appreciates the curbside pickup, and they’ll continue doing it,” he says. “There are a number of things that we’ve realized through this process are going to change our business permanently.”

    eater.com
    5 Ways Restaurants Are Adapting Right Now
     
  10. Goofy Ginger

    Goofy Ginger Beach Comber

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    Any updates from yesterday's bar closure and liquor sales?
     
  11. MrSunshine

    MrSunshine Beach Lover

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    It seems some establishments are shooting themselves in the foot over this. If it comes to another shutdown, they'll need to look in the mirror...
     
  12. Goofy Ginger

    Goofy Ginger Beach Comber

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    Very true.
     

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