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Appetite: Dining Out, Phase 3: Two Restaurateurs Discuss the Latest in Alexandria
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Appetite: Dining Out, Phase 3: Two Restaurateurs Discuss the Latest in Alexandria

Dining is available inside at Chadwicks now. “Standing, mask. Sitting, no mask. If you don’t want to wear a mask you should stay home; we deliver.”

Dining is available inside at Chadwicks now. “Standing, mask. Sitting, no mask. If you don’t want to wear a mask you should stay home; we deliver.”

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Donuts at Elizabeth’s Counter.

Now that Alexandria is solidly in Phase 3 of the Virginia Forward reopening plan, restaurants and cafes are wide open – with social distancing in place – both inside and out. But for restaurant owners and others in the business, the economic threat is far from over. Mix in customers’ varied views on everything from mask-wearing to whether dine-in is comfortable for them just yet, and it’s a rocky landscape to be sure.

Chadwicks’ Trae Lamond and Captain Gregory’s/Elizabeth’s Counter’s Rob Krupicka share a snapshot of how their establishments are navigating Phase 3 – and all it entails.

Trae Lamond, Chadwicks

“Enforcing the mask policy has been a lot like herding cats. I believe most folks mean well, they just don’t fully understand the rules. You must wear a mask to enter. As soon as you are seated, you may remove your mask. If you get up for any reason (like going to the bathroom or leaving after your meal) you should be wearing a mask. Standing, mask. Sitting, no mask. If you don’t want to wear a mask you should stay home, we deliver.

“We are still offering carryout/ curbside dining and delivery. We encourage anyone with health concerns to stay home and we will bring dinner to your door. Check our website http://www.chadwicksrestaurants.com/ or call us (703.836.4442).”

Rob Krupicka, Elizabeth’s Counter and Captain Gregory’s

“Our customers are amazing. They are supportive and positive. They put smiles on our faces. We opened Captain Gregory’s at half capacity (about 12 seats) so it really has that quiet, cool, speakeasy vibe now. We also partnered with a local engineering firm, Building Momentum, to add a first-of-its-kind air filter system to help us keep contagions out of the air. Staff spirits are strong and [they] are well aware of how lucky we are to serve this city. We are just crossing fingers that the virus doesn’t come back to Virginia. That would be tough to overcome. We still need all those curbside and online order customers. They are life and death for us.”

Hope Nelson is the author of “Classic Restaurants of Alexandria” and owns the Kitchen Recessionista blog, located at http://www.kitchenrecessionista.com/. Email her any time at hope@kitchenrecessionista.com.