Many people who frequent the restaurants of downtown Gainesville each day are now self distancing, causing not just a noticeable dwindle in people around town, but also of people dining at local restaurants.
But, Main Street Manager Nicole Ricketts said many of the restaurants enjoyed on a regular basis are still available while taking precautions. She said many remain open, amping up their hygenic and disinfecting practices, while others are trying out new to-go procedures.
She said to participate and possibly win a gift card to the restaurant of their choice, simply post a photo with the hashtag #GVLGA online.
"It's Dine Downtown from Home. So take a picture of you or your friends or your family eating something from downtown at your home," said Ricketts. "Have some fun with it and use the hashtag #GVLGA so it will notify us of the post. The post that makes us laugh the most will win a free gift card to the downtown restaurant of their choice."
Some restaurants are even creating family sized portions, like 2 Dog. Others, like the Inked Pig, are opening drive-thru windows for the first time, and many are offering curbside pick up.
And other chose to keep their dining rooms open with enhanced cleanliness measures. Jeff Worley, owner of The Collegiate Grill, said they now disinfect every item at every booth after every customer, have removed the bar as a seating option, and limited the rest of the space to only allow for less than 50 patrons, per the CDC's recommendation.
They're also offering to go orders and encouraging customers to use apps like GrubHub, UberEats or DoorDash, that will deliver meals right to your home.
"We're going to make it available as long as they allow us to," said Worley. "I wouldn't be surprised if we don't have to eventually, in the next few days have to shut the dining area down completely, if the state requires that."
Worley said they will keep cooking as long as they can. "I don't see any reason throughout this entire pandemic that we won't be able to offer a pick up or a delivery service at the very, very least. We're doing that in an effort to keep everybody employed and keep our staff taken care of and meet all their needs as well."
A list of downtown Gainesville restaurants currently offering food to go, through a delivery service, or are still operating a dining room are below:
- 2 Dog
- 37 Main
- Alpha Gyro Grill
- Atlas Pizza
- Collegiate Grill
- Danny's Donuts
- Downtown Drafts
- Inman Perk
- Mule Camp Tavern
- Scott's Downtown
- Southern Baked Pie Company
- Sweet Magnolia's
- The Inked Pig
- Uno Mas
- Yellow Fin
- Zen Ramen