On the first night of dine-in restaurant service reopening in Humboldt County after Governor Gavin Newsom ordered shutdowns across the state in March because of the COVID-19 pandemic, a new partition separates the chef at Shamus T-bones from the patrons.
Below, photographer Mark McKenna takes us on a tour of four restaurants–three that opened Friday night, and one that waited—to get a sense of the changes that are occurring as the result of measures to protect patrons and staff from the dangers of the disease but still allow for economic activity and the social needs of the residents.
Customers wait outside until another party is seated to comply with the social distancing guide lines.
Chris Barry, the owner, in the dining room at Shamus T Bones as the restaurant reopened for dine-in customers last Friday evening, the first night of dine in service in Humboldt County since the shelter in place orders were given.
According to Barry, the restaurant had a good ventilation system before the COVID crisis. They have upgraded the filters from Merv 8, for standard dust, to Merv 13 which is for fine particulate matter like COVID-19.
Rick Poletski and his son Tyler were excited to come out to Shamus T Bones where they are regulars. Rick said they take care of them there and he got an extra thick end cut of prime rib. Tyler had a burger.
The new distancing guidelines for dine in service will reduce the capacity at Shamus T Bones significantly.
Logan Ward and Alexandria Forster said they used to come in once every couple weeks. They love the outside area at Shamus and can’t wait for better weather to be able to enjoy it adding that there are not too many places you can go outside and have your drink. They usually get oysters and other apps and then split an entree.
Customers enter Tres Picosos on the first night of dine in service in Eureka. Manager Crystal Combs said they did a full sanitization of the entire restaurant, have set up stations to monitor staff temperatures, and removed some seating to comply with state guidelines. She said the seating capacity was well under 50% of what it was before.
From left to right: Richard Cahill and Pat Cahill, of Ferndale, and Denise Cahill, who was visiting from Visalia, enjoy food at Tres Picosos on the first night of dinner service after easing of the shelter in place orders.
AA Bar and Grill in Eureka had cups for clean and dirty pens on the bar on the first night they reopened for dine-in–last Friday night.
Whittney Mascola makes some moscow mules at the AA Bar and Grill. Known for their steaks, Mascola said the regulars were practically knocking the door down to get in Friday.
Brittney Christensen puts in an order at the AA Bar and Grill.
Scott Danely, who is in Eureka visiting an uncle and on business, went all out and got the porter house. He had been getting take out from the AA and was excited to get a steak.
People are allowed to sit in groups at AA if they know each other with space between them at the bar.
Brick and Fire Restaurant is not yet open for service.
Kenneth Fletcher takes a phone order for pick up at Brick and Fire.
Chef and Manager of Brick and Fire Jeremy Wadlington checks a pizza in the wood fire oven Friday night for a take out order. The restaurant will reopen for dine in service on Wednesday. Wadlington said the restaurant and staff were ready to reopen and really need the people to come back.