Antonio Ray Harvey | California Black Media
Sacramento County will have its first test of what the new normal will look like when some of the restrictions issued by the state are lifted beginning this weekend.
The county will implement the state’s Stage 2’s Resilience Roadmap that will allow businesses to resume operations when the county’s public health order ends at noon, May 22.
As Stage 2 goes into activation, restaurants can open the doors of their dining rooms for in-person meals, a departure from the drive-thru and pick-up orders they have been providing for more than two months.
It will be a moment that all African-American restaurants’ owners and employees will savor as they become, again, near fully operational.
In a ZOOM meeting hosted by the Black Small Business Association of California, the county’s Director of Health Services Dr. Beilenson told participants that the state’s Department of Health will release specific guidelines.
Beilenson also told the Black community leaders, representatives from the city of Sacramento and proprietors of restaurants that the county does have the ability through the guidelines to protect the public and essential workers to make Stage 2 work effectively.
“We’re going to end our health order by noon (May 22) and open our restaurants by 12:01 p.m., lunch time,” Beilenson said. “But the bottom line is the general restrictions, a 12-page guide that we will post that are basically six or seven different things.”
The guidelines won’t be officially posted until the order ends but Beilenson was able to share some items of importance with the participants. They included social distancing between the tables in six-foot increments, certain tables can only be used by a mother, father, and their children, and all cooks must wear face masks.
In addition, paper menus must be discarded after use (no plastic-covered menus allowed), patrons may have to stay outside of the restaurant until the table is ready and customers must answer questions about COVID-19 symptoms at the door.
Beilenson conveyed that the opening of dine-in restaurants may not be a big splash this Memorial Day weekend, expecting that most people will stay in line with the stay-at-home directives to prevent spreading coronavirus.
“Unfortunately, the uptick of restaurants has been relatively small the first week in other places in the country. Like 10 to 20% of what it’s normally is,” Beilenson said. “It may not be that hard initially to space people out.”
Zion Taddese, the owner of Queen Sheba in Sacramento, has been opened since the shelter-in-place order went into effect March 19. Her restaurant has been available for pick-up orders and it is a member of the state program that serves seniors three times each day.
Taddese is looking forward to opening her dining room for patrons but she is a little leery about how the guidelines will dictate how her business functions. Taddese wants to know “how do we survive this thing?”
“It’s still a little confusing,” Taddese said during the ZOOM meeting. “Do we have 10 people or do we have 20 people in the restaurant? We’re just trying to be ready. If the [guidelines] say only 20 people, imagine 40 to 60 people turn up. Then, how do we navigate all of those things?
Beilenson said that the guidelines will be available one minute past noon on May 22 and not a second sooner. They will be accessible and printable for the restaurants.
For more information about the restaurant guidelines and the state’s Stage 2’s Resilience Roadmap, visit dhs.sacounty.net.
Here are a list of Sacramento Black restaurants that may reopen for dine-in services compiled by Sac Cultural Hub:
D’s Smoking Pit, (916) 993-9428
Daddyo’s Smokehouse, (916) 821-9020
Dubplate Kitchen & Jamaican Cuisine, (916) 339-6978
Ermajeans Southern Cuisine Restaurant and catering, (530) 749-9651
Family Pizza Take n Bake, (916) 333-3397
Fixins Soul Kitchen, (916) 999-7685
Flower’s Fish Market, (916) 456-0719
Louisiana Heaven, (916) 689-4800
MacQue’s Barbeque (South Sac Location), (916) 381-4119
Macque’s Barbeque (Elk Grove Location), (916) 714-2910
Mo’Betta Finger Foods On Wheels, (916) 307-9511
MoMo’s Meat Market, (916) 452-0202
Queen Sheba, (916) 446-1223
Shakey Js | Peach Oliver, (916) 661-6750
South Restaurant, 916-382-9722
Stage Coach (916) 422-9296
Tori’s Place Soul Food, (916) 646-6038
For additional information on these restaurants, visit: http://www.sacculturalhub.com/item/14943-supporting-our-local-soul-food-restaurants-in-sacramento