How Restaurants are Adapting to a ‘New Normal’

By: Michael Fossbakk | July 1, 2020

After receiving the news that restaurants could return to providing dine-in services to customers beginning Monday, June 8 (with some restrictions), restaurant owners got to work on ensuring they could meet the guidelines established by the CDC and the State of Michigan. Some of the rules restaurants have to follow include maintaining 50% of their max. occupancy, spacing tables out to be six feet apart and having guests wait outside to be seated.

After having to pivot their entire business to carryout and delivery services just a few months ago, restaurants are now adapting once more to “a new normal.”

Read on below to see how some establishments in Metro Detroit are accommodating guests during this transitionary period of reopening.

Joebar/Frame

Frame Little Italy outdoor dining

Frame will be hosting a 24-person outdoor “supper club” with rotating chef residencies. The first will feature chef Mark Camaj. Photo courtesy of Frame.

Joebar, the local neighborhood bar, and Frame, the event-centered dining experience, are making the most of the situation when it comes to returning to business. In addition to guests being asked to wear masks when not at their table and washing/sanitizing hands thoroughly, Frame and Joebar have undergone a bit of a transformation.

Frame has been converted to an outdoor, 24-person “supper club” with chefs chosen by Frame’s owners and seating spaced out to maintain six-feet distancing guidelines. The first chef residency will be Mark Camaj, who studied at Le Cordon Bleu and will be opening an Albanian-Italian restaurant next year.

Joebar has also moved outdoors and adopted a new name: Joe-tiki. Co-owner Cari Vaughn describes it as “an open air patio, crafted to look and feel like a well-worn, snug oasis with Polynesian vibes.” Expect frozen tiki drinks “and plenty of rum” while maintaining social distance from others.

Hazel, Ravines & Downtown

Having earned the prestigious title as one of the ten best new restaurants in 2019, Hazel, Ravines & Downtown has made a concerted effort to accommodate guests that decide to dine in at their Birmingham location. As of this writing, upon visiting Hazel’s website, you will see an infographic detailing their reopening practices. This includes taking the temperature of all staff at the beginning of their shift, asking customers to wear face coverings unless eating or drinking, and hosts seating guests six feet apart.

Joe Muer Seafood

Seafood lovers will be happy to know that Joe Muer has reopened both of its locations (Detroit and Bloomfield Hills), following guidelines presented by the CDC, government mandates, and the National Restaurant Association. Both locations will be using a contactless infrared thermometer to check the temperature of all guests and employees as they enter the restaurant. Those with a fever will be asked to leave. Touchless hand sanitizer dispensers will be located throughout the restaurant for staff and guests to use. All staff will wear face coverings and gloves, and only one-time use menus will be provided.