Taking it slow: One Lowcountry restaurant isn’t rushing the reopening process

On Monday, South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster allowed restaurants to re-open their dining rooms at 50-percent capacity as they begin to reopen the Palmetto State.

Taking it slow: One Lowcountry restaurant isn’t rushing the reopening process
The inside of Skillet Cafe is empty, as they haven't reopened for dinner yet. (Source: WTOC-TV)

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. (WTOC) - On Monday, South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster allowed restaurants to re-open their dining rooms at 50-percent capacity as they begin to reopen the Palmetto State. One local Lowcountry restaurant is taking the re-opening process slow.

Amie Baima, owner of Skillet Cafe in Coligny Plaza, said her restaurant was closed about six-and-a-half weeks. Twelve days ago they re-opened for take-out only. On Monday, they opened for breakfast and lunch, rearranging tables in the dining room to abide by the six-foot rule, but so far, it hasn’t been an issue. Most of their building is surrounded by outdoor seating.

"I’ve only had four tables request to eat inside.,” Baima said. “That’s been it, and I think everyone’s kind of in that same idea- the weather is great, you come to the beach to be outside anyway.”

Like all restaurants, they’re making adjustments to be safe.

“Disinfecting everything, I’ve switched to paper menus, there’s no condiments- salt, pepper, anything on the tables," Baima explained. "You request it, we bring it, then as we bus the tables, everything is re-wiped down and put back up.”

They’ve also closed their salad bar, and are taking salad orders instead.

The employees are not required to wear their masks, but have decided to. The front door has a sticker that says ‘We Took The Pledge’. That was given by the Chamber of Commerce. It ensures some safety guidelines, like the ones listed on signs around the restaurant, asking customers to refrain from entering if they feel ill, maintaining a six-foot distance, sneezing or coughing into a tissue or your elbow, and refrain from shaking hands, or any unnecessary contact.

Baima says they’ll soon be back to normal serving three meals a day soon, but regardless, local businesses are in for a tough road ahead.

“We are still a tourist destination, and we still plan on x-amount of months to make our money, so I think it’s going to be a very hard year this year for a lot of businesses,” Baima added.

Gov. McMaster says restaurants will be back to normal during phase three (South Carolina is currently in phase two), but there’s no indication when the state will enter that stage.

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