Restaurant Reopening FAQ

May 27, 2020
Denver Restaurants
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Restaurants are allowed to open for dine-in service in Denver, and we know you’ve got questions. We’re gonna do our best to answer them.
As always, we’re giving you the best info we’ve got, but it never hurts to double check government or restaurant websites, especially if you have more questions.

What will dining rooms look like?
Different, that’s for sure. Restaurants are allowed to seat 50% of their maximum capacity, but no more than 50 diners indoors. For some places, that will feel pretty darn empty. There is, however, a workaround! Restaurants are able to expand their outdoor seating, provided they have permission from property owners and can maintain social distancing guidelines.

So we’re gonna be eating on the patio a lot more?
Yes, most likely you will be. But it’s a great excuse to really soak up the Colorado summer sunshine. Just maybe keep some sunscreen next to your hand sanitizer in your bag.

Will I have to wear a mask while I eat?
That would be really hard to do. But, masks are recommended for diners upon entering restaurants, and when you’re not actively eating or drinking. Service staff will be wearing masks the whole time, so you won’t be the only one covered up.

Can I have a large group dinner?
Depends on what you consider to be large. Tables will be limited to 8 diners at a time, so if you were planning a birthday brunch, or some other celebration, it will have to be a slightly more intimate affair.

Are there different rules if I’m on the patio?
Sort of, but not really. Tables are still limited to 8 people max, and you’ll have to stay six feet away from other groups, but there is a lot more space outside, so there will likely be more people out there. This might feel a bit more “normal” than indoor dining does for now.

Are there time limits on how long I can be at a restaurant?
No, but this is where we all need to show a little extra care and consideration. Seating is going to be limited, and if you’ve ever worked as a server, you know how important it is to turn over tables, especially when numbers are low. It’s also going to take a little extra time to sanitize tables and keep up with required safety precautions, so efficiency on all ends is likely going to be appreciated.

Are reservations required?
No but they are being strongly recommended by the governor, and will probably make your dining experience a bit simpler. Restaurant goers will not be allowed to congregate in lobbies or waiting areas, so if you don’t have a reservation for one of the limited indoor tables, or an outdoor space with your name on it, you might be waiting in your car or a nearby park for awhile.

Can I eat at the bar?
Maybe. Restaurants are allowed to seat people at the bar, but only if food is not being prepared there, social distancing regulations can be followed, and it can’t be open seating. So no, eating at the bar will not be a way around a reservation like it once was.

Why hasn’t my favorite restaurant opened yet?
There are a LOT of requirements in place to keep us all safe, and it is a big challenge for many restaurants to meet them all. Maybe your favorite spot needs a little extra time to prep, or maybe it makes more financial sense for them to keep doing takeout. Whatever their reason may be, patience is key, and try to support your favorite local joints in the ways you can right now.

Will breweries be opening?
Sadly, not yet. 

Still got questions? That’s cool! You can read all of the official guidelines for restaurant reopening here.

 

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