Some restaurants, like Sails, are taking extra safety precautions; Photo by Louis Venne

The Latest


What to Expect from Local Restaurants During Phase 1

As Florida recovers from the coronavirus epidemic, here is how the dining scene is responding and what dining out will look like.

Ever since that crown-shaped bug crossed the Pacific and wreaked havoc on our lives as we knew them, one of the industries most affected was the one of our daydreams, special occasions and nearly every Saturday night.

In 21st century America, dining out had become a national pastime—The Great Escape—with restaurants whisking us away through an immersive experience, from the lighting above and the weight of the menu in your hands to the last drop of a glass of Chianti or bite of a Nutella-stuffed crepe.

There are strict guidelines in place for restaurants in Phase 1 of Florida’s recovery, but these rules and regulations can change again on a dime. For now, here are the facts for in-house dining:

  • Restaurants must operate at 25% capacity.
  • Tables have to be spaced at least six feet apart.
  • No more than 10 guests can be seated together.
  • Bars—even with appropriate socially-distant dining—have to stay closed.

Other protocols that are being adopted by some restaurants but are not required by the executive order are:

  • Face mask and glove use by employees.
  • Disposable paper menus.
  • Hand sanitizer at registers or checkout counters.

Takeout and curbside menu options will remain in place for the time being, so those are safe, viable options if your comfort level is just not there yet to grab a seat. No matter what, we encourage you to eat well, dine local and stay #GulfshoreStrong.

Click here for a listing of open restaurants.