from The Canton Repository (May 8, 2020) written by Dan Kane
An unusual social-distancing solution already is in place at the North Canton breakfast cafe Twisted Citrus, which will reopen for sit-down dining on May 21, as allowed by the state.
“I came up with the idea of clear vinyl shower-curtain liners as dividers between tables,” co-owner Kim Shapiro said. “They’re suspended from the ceiling with hooks and drop down to where the back of a chair would be.
“We can spray (the curtains) down with Lysol and COVID cleaner spray,” she said.
Stark County restaurants are preparing to reopen following Gov. Mike DeWine’s announcement Thursday that restaurants and bars can begin serving patrons on their outdoor patios and outside dining areas on May 15. Inside service, including for meals, will not be permitted until May 21, with virus precautions required such as six-foot social distancing between tables.
At Twisted Citrus, tables have been rearranged to face back to back, with the idea of limiting contact between parties. The new floor plan reduces seating capacity from 80 people to 55.
“It’s nice (Ohio is) letting restaurants be responsible enough to make decisions for themselves,” Shapiro said. “We are catering to the people who are comfortable to come out to a restaurant with precautions. We’re trying to make our guests know that we’ve done something different and that we care.
“We’re being as serious as we can about it but it’s still the hospitality business. We don’t want to make our guests feel like they’re on constant alert,” she said. “It’s a struggle.”
At the two TD’s Tailgate Grill locations, one next door to Twisted Citrus and the other in Canton, their patios will open May 15, and inside dining, with adjusted seating, will open May 21. In North Canton, there will be eight tables on the patio, socially distanced. On the much-larger Canton patio, tables will be spaced wider apart and there will be wicker dividers between booths.
While Shapiro is hopeful that customers will return, she said, “I have no idea if people are going to run in when the doors open or if we’ll open to crickets.”