It is such a joy to see Coronado retail and restaurants welcoming customers and in-house diners once more. However, rather like a garden with flowers coming into bloom at different times, each store and eatery is re-opening at a different pace and to a different extent! One of the best ways to suss out the new lay of the land is to take a leisurely stroll down Orange Avenue and familiarize yourself with the new, safety-conscious ways of doing business.
As a customer, the main thing to remember is to enter the establishment wearing a mask and check the guidelines posted by the front door so that you know how many customers are permitted inside at one time. For example, Bay Books allows eight people whereas Coronado Vintage can accommodate four and Paris & Me limits guests to two at a time. Fair Trade has widened their aisles and created two contactless pay stations to help keep customers safely distant. Many stores have ‘Clean’ and ‘Used’ pen pots for signing credit card slips. The other significant difference is opening hours – many stores are opening a little later and closing a little earlier, or just serving customers at the weekend. Others are not quite ready to open. The Coronado Chamber of Commerce offers free Orange Avenue brochures available outside our offices at 1125 Tenth Street with the phone numbers of all Coronado restaurants, retail, lodging and activities, providing a great resource for when you want to call to check on a business, and giving you good prompts for alternatives if your favorite spot is closed.
You may also want to check whether your restaurant of choice requires a reservation (for example, Yummy Sushi and Garage Buona Forchetta request this). It is a good idea to secure a table in advance as table availability is greatly reduced to meet the social distancing requirements and there is a demand from hungry locals keen to support their favorite chefs. Little Frenchie was buzzing at the weekend with tables extending as far as the bank with dressed-up diners sipping chilled rosé while others, such as Costa Azul, are sticking with take-out for the moment.
One eatery with even more changes is Clayton’s Bakery & Bistro. Owner Mary Frese is expanding into the former H&R Block space next door, which has enabled her to double the patio area at the front of her popular French-influenced restaurant. A stylish interior is developing as we speak. In the meantime, tables have been spaced according to the new regulations and Mary is delighted to be welcoming customers again, as well as at Clayton’s Coffee Shop, Clayton’s on Tenth and Mexican Take-Out. As these four have been closed for the past two months, it is wonderful to see them back.
Wherever you shop or dine, we thank you for supporting local businesses and giving our island community a renewed sense of hope that we really can get through this together. As the sign in the window at Adorn says: “The comeback is greater than the setback!”