Restaurants are thinking outside the box to bring customers in

Outside eating spaces, plexiglass barriers, and disposable dishes are just a few of the changes Portland restaurants are making during the reopening phases.

PORTLAND, Ore — As restaurants reopen their doors to dine-in customers, many are getting creative.

For the first time in more than three months, Kachka will be inviting diners to come in and take a seat. Although those seats are now benches outside.

“The name of the game… is to be able to pivot and adjust,” said chef and co-owner Bonnie Morales.

Morales has transformed the parking lot behind her restaurant into an outdoor eatery. It’s called Kachka Alfresca.

“Every tent is for one table and it is a 10-by-10 tent so that gives you a sense of what your space is,” explained Morales.

To keep everyone distanced, diners order either online or call it in right there from their table. And they will have to bus all of their own disposable plates.

“Everything is served on single use sugar cane paper pulp or plastic,” Morales said. “None of that goes back into the kitchen.”

At Clyde Common in downtown Portland, you’ll see a big change the moment you walk in the door.

“This is plexiglass three feet high,” owner Nate Tilden said while pointing to the brand new barrier he built to go around the bar.

Right now, state requirements only allow counter seating if it’s up against a wall.

“We’ll have to check in with authorities to see if this counts as a wall, but in my mind it does,” he said.

Tilden is getting a sidewalk cafe permit to have outdoor seating as well. The name of the reimagined restaurant is Clyde Tavern. Tilden said he has plenty more plexiglass to make whatever changes needed  to get those customers back in safely.

“We need to operate and we need to get back to business,” Tilden said. “But we’re not going to do so if it gets anybody sick.”

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