Reopening California: Here's how 1 Napa restaurant resumes dine-in service amid COVID-19 pandemic

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Wednesday, May 20, 2020
Napa restaurant shares changes made for reopening for dine-in service
With Napa County restaurants allowed to reopen for dine-in service, Mauro Pando, owner of Grace's Table in Downtown Napa, gave ABC7 News a look into the modified dine-in service he's giving amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.

NAPA, Calif. (KGO) -- Napa County is now allowing restaurants, shopping malls and other retailers to open immediately, with COVID-19 restrictions in place. One restaurant was surprised to find out the county is moving further in California's Phase 2 plan of reopening.

RELATED: Napa County 1st in Bay Area allowed to reopen dine-in restaurants

Mauro Pando, chef and owner of Grace's Table in Downtown Napa, began providing to-go orders a week ago, unti, he came into work Wednesday morning.

"I didn't see it (the new order) last night," Pando said. "I found out as I was walking into the restaurant this morning. I sent out a little media blast at 8:30 saying to-go brunch is ready, and then it turned out, 10 minutes later, I said, well actually, in house dining is ready too!"

The restaurant's first customer came in around 10:30 a.m. with the intention to pick up a to-go order, but once they heard dine-in was available, they quickly sat down to enjoy their food at an outdoor table.

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Pando explained they had to cut down 17 tables to seven in order to comply with social distancing orders.

While giving a tour of the restaurant, Pando explained the changes needed to safely reopen, including exchanging linen napkins with disposable ones and replacing reusable menus with one-time use paper ones.

"I was wondering why I bought 5,000 sheets the other week and they showed up, but now I have good use for all my regular paper," Pando said.

Pando also removed all sharable items off the table such as salt, pepper, and other condiments.

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When asked about how soon he thinks more people will be coming into the restaurant, Pando said, "There's a lot of people still waiting, it's a lot. We just had a more than a handful of in-house diners. The buzz and the joy of having the restaurant operating like this, it just gave everybody a nice, warm, happy feeling."

Pando shared one guest who came in was looking fot the first restaurant they drove by that allowed dine-in service.

Though restaurants with modified service, in compliance to health regulations set by the state and county, are allowed to reopen in Napa, wineries and tasting rooms remain closed as they are part of California's Phase 3.

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