Hospitality Businesses Welcome Dine-In Customers
The Government of Alberta lifted restrictions for restaurants, cafes, pubs, and bars on May 14, 2020 to resume dine-in services.
While capacity of these businesses was limited to 50% (among other guidelines), many restaurants in the Edmonton area chose to re-open their dining areas to patrons. Some, including Canadian Brewhouse, Joey’s, and Hudson’s, aren’t surprising, given the space they have in their establishments to spread out.
But many smaller, independent businesses have also resumed eat-in service, such as Pampa, Hart’s Table, Ramen Misoya, Kelly’s Pub, Rocky Mountain Ice House, The Underground, Hanjan, dessert bar Snowy Village, and neighbourhood gem Old Beverly Cafe.
However, other businesses have stated that they aren’t yet ready to open their dining rooms, and will continue offering take-out and delivery for the time being.
Prairie Dog Brewing, a Calgary-based brewpub, posted a thorough account detailing all of the considerations behind a decision to re-open – it is worth a read, and seems to articulates many of the factors stacked against small restaurants at this time.
In other COVID-19-related news:
- Some businesses have re-opened for take-out only, including Coffee Bureau and District.
- The City of Edmonton is relaxing rules that will allow restaurants and bars to set up patios without a development permit or additional costs this summer.
- The regulation that permits restaurants and bars to sell alcohol through take-out or delivery channels has been amended permanently, and will remain even after the pandemic.
- High Dough Pizza and Bagel Bar have been among the businesses to have skyrocketing demand during the pandemic.
- On the flip side, many businesses in Chinatown continue to struggle with the decline in foot traffic.
- Co-owner of Meat, The Next Act, and Pip, Saylish Haas, was interviewed for inResponse, which explores how people are handling the COVID-19 crisis.
- Panini’s Italian Cucina are among five restaurants in Canada that have received the most tips through Skip the Dishes orders.
- Jacek is involved in a partnership called Retail4Good, which is selling gift boxes for frontline workers at a discount.
- Ocean Odyssey has adapted to the current conditions to keep customers safe when shopping in their store.
- Gordon Food Service is now offering grocery delivery and pick-up for household consumers.
- The location of The Greenhouse based at Victoria Golf Course is now open. It comes from the folks behind Workshop Eatery and Woodshed Burgers.
- While the dining room at Boxer – Alberta Kitchen & Bar (the former Holy Roller space) is not open yet, they have been offering curbside take-out. Find them at 10315 83 Avenue.
- The Colombian now has a coffee truck! Follow The Coffee Mule to find out where they’ll be next.
- The Funky Buddha in Old Strathcona has closed after 15 years in business.
- Nando’s has closed some of its corporate-owned locations. In the Edmonton area, this appears to impact the Clareview and Sherwood Park branches, while the Oliver Square and Gateway Boulevard shops will remain open.
- In support of Canadian potato farmers, Sabor is offering 2 pieces of Piri-Piri chicken with fries and aioli for $14 on May 19, 2020. Pre-ordering is required.
- The Chefs from Milk Crate and Why Not are going head-to-head in a Burger Battle for a second time on May 20, 2020. Diners try two take-out burgers and vote for their favourite. Pre-orders are due at 4pm on May 19; burgers are to be picked up at Milk Crate in the Epcor Tower.
- The Common’s popular Hip Hop Brunch is going virtual on May 24, 2020. Those interested should pre-order; included along with the food are colouring sheets, crayons, and a link to the live brunch stream.
- Chef Doreen Prei is the next Edmontonian to appear on Food Network Canada’s Firemasters program. Watch for her appearance on May 21, 2020.
- Sharon wrote about some small food-based businesses that have started up during the pandemic, including Malay Bakery, Nai Nai Mie, and The French Creperie. QuaranTeas & Sweets is in the same vein, offerings sweets and drinks through delivery. It’ll be interesting to see if these businesses are able to sustain themselves when and if diners return to eating in restaurants again.
- Sea Change Brewing followed through on their offer to deliver a pallet of beer using a forklift. After Highlands Liquor placed a large order, they made the 10km trip on a small, pink forklift, documented the journey, and have pledged a portion of the beer sales for Edmonton’s Food Bank.
- Local startup Commerce Owl has submitted their recipe app for a Shopify competition in the hopes of snagging a prize.
Urban Agriculture and Farming
- While farmers’ markets have been classified as “essential services” and have remained open during the pandemic, their transition to outdoor spaces has come with some restrictions.
- Riverbend Gardens shared that for the first time since 2004, they will not be among the summer vendors at the Edmonton Downtown Farmers’ Market. They indicated that “the market made the decision that no vendors with products similar to permanent indoor vendors would be allowed in the outdoor portion of the market.” This is incredibly disappointing, short-sighted, and unfortunate given the market had the wonderful opportunity to fully showcase the possibilities of having both indoor and outdoor components this summer. I look forward to supporting Riverbend Gardens through their other market locations.
- Alberta Open Farm Days has updated their list of farms who offer farmgate sales or delivery options.
- The City of Edmonton is hoping to increase the number of community gardens by creating 350 gardening plots in 30 temporary garden sites. The deadline to submit applications is May 18, 2020.
What I Ate
- We still haven’t exhausted our take-out options within walking distance of our home! Friday’s craving for Thai meant kicking off the weekend with food from Viphalay. The pad Thai and green curry are staples for us, but we tried the drunken noodles for the first time too – I was unprepared for how spicy they were!
Our spread from Viphalay