Restaurants, retail and hair salons allowed to reopen

Rubio’s co-founder Ralph Rubio moves tables as Rubio’s restaurants implement strict social distancing procedures in preparation for re-opening their dining rooms on May 27.
Rubio’s co-founder Ralph Rubio moves tables as Rubio’s restaurants implement strict social distancing procedures in preparation for re-opening their dining rooms on May 27.

Last week, restaurants and retail were given the green light to open and serve customers in person with restrictions to help continue the spread of COVID-19.

Restaurants were allowed to reopen with guidelines that include temperature/symptom screening for employees, tables spaced six feet apart or with barriers separating them, employees must wear facial coverings and customers must wear facial coverings except when seated. There is to be no self-service such as buffets, salad bars or soda machines and eateries are encouraged to expand outdoor seating.

Rubio’s in Del Mar Highlands prepared for its re-opening by reconfiguring its interior and patio tables, incorporating tamper-free packaging and closing its famous salsa bar—it is now available as single-serve from behind the counter.

Homestead, the neighborhood cafe in Solana Beach, re-opened on May 22 with a pivoted concept. Homestead will keep a small menu of its scratch-made sandwiches, salads and breakfast items and transition into a local high-end bodega or neighborhood market. Since closing their doors in March, owners Marie and Jamie Brawn have been trying to find a way to re-open and support the community with something that would benefit their neighborhood.

Guests will be able to order food and drinks and dine-in at their socially distanced “piazza” style tables outside the market and cafe.

The new Homestead will serve as a neighborhood bodega as well as a place for dine-in or take-out.

On the retail side, customers are allowed in stores, including malls, with the requirements of daily employee screenings, facial coverings for customers and employees and social distancing.

Fleet Feet in The Village at Pacific Highlands Ranch was happy to welcome back its loyal customers last week with capacity restrictions, a little shorter hours and in-store shoe fittings by appointment only.

As of May 27, the county also allowed places of worship to reopen with limited attendance—the guidance indicates places of worship should be open at 25 percent of a building’s maximum capacity or 100 worshipers, whichever is smaller.

The guidance also suggests that people bring their own materials, such as Bibles, and forgo choirs. The state strongly recommends that places of worship continue to keep their services online.

“We know that practicing and sharing your faith is important but we want to make sure we keep everyone safe,” Supervisor Greg Cox said.

Effective May 27, the county has also allowed the reopening of barbershops and hair salons: “Good news for all you longhairs,”said Cox. Color Counter in One Paseo was ready to open up the morning after the announcement. All Color Counter team members wear masks, face shields and gloves that are sanitized after each client, there will be social distancing between stations and shampoo bowls and a limited number of people will be allowed in the salon at a time, with temperature checks for all.

Despite some restrictions being lifted, as of press time the state has not cleared the following businesses or activities for reopening: hotels and Airbnb (except to serve essential workers), nail salons, gyms, fitness centers and HOA pools.

As more places open to the public, the county stressed that it remains important for people to continue taking precautions to avoid getting and spreading COVID-19: people should continue wearing a face covering in public, maintain their distance from others, avoid touching their face and wash their hands frequently.

“We have to understand that even though what we are able to get out and do is changing, the danger from coronavirus remains,” Supervisor Nathan Fletcher said.