LIHU‘E — Larry Feinstein of the Kaua‘i Beer Company said they never closed.
Monday morning, a line of diners — practicing social distancing — greeted Feinstein when doors opened to dine-in service as provided in the mayor’s Emergency Rule 11 after being approved by Gov. David Ige.
“We have waited a long time for restaurants to open,” said Mayor Derek S.K. Kawakami during his daily video update on COVID-19. “And under Rule 11, restaurants may open for dining in (effective June 1), provided the ‘State Roadmap to Recovery and Resilience Guidance for Reopening Food Services Sector” are followed.”
Feinstein and Jim Guerber, leaders of the Kaua‘i Beer Company, said they welcome diners to the modified set up that includes a new entrance, exit only, social distancing measures, and other changes made after studying the guidelines by the Department of Health, and the Centers for Disease Control for dining in at restaurants.
Diners need not be surprised as a lot of the modifications were already in place during Truck Stop Thursdays, including the check-in, placing an order, and getting a number before being escorted to a table, inside.
“This is about half of what we had previously,” Guerber said. “Tables are spread out more to stay within the social distancing requirements. There is also no sitting at the bar. And face masks must be worn until seated. Everything feels a lot more comfortable.”
Once customers’ orders are prepared, the server brings it to the table for enjoyment.
Phone-in orders for pick up are still available.
“I don’t know if we can do this because we are serving far less people than we did before COVID,” Guerber said. “But we have been adjusting to things all along. This is just another way to enjoy COVID Cuisine.”
Feinstein, looking at the newly-added street marking to Rice Street, said the Kaua‘i Beer Company never shut its doors following the arrival of COVID-19 in Hawai‘i, staying open with the new requirements needed for the health and safety, adjusting to the need for more stringent cleaning and sanitizing, and now allowing diners to experience enjoying dine-in service.
“We never closed,” Feinstein said. “We made a lot of adjustments, some of which will become the new normal. Our talented wait staff even developed a new-look artwork during this time. We never did close.”