But Governor Herbert doesn’t own a store, a restaurant, a theater. Many of these have decided NOT to reopen. Virus cases are still on the rise, a 25 percent opening—as has been suggested to keep people safe—may cost more in overhead than it will generate.
So, business doors haven’t been thrown open, but they are slightly ajar.
And many businesses don’t have enough money to get re-started—the recent round of loans were haphazardly helpful; as we know now, much of the money went to companies that complied only with the letter, not the spirit of the law. Big restaurant groups, claiming each location as a single restaurant, received money (Ruth’s Chris, Shake Shack, Pot Belly Pig, etc.) while many of the small, mom & pop-owned and operated establishments (Oquirrh, for example) did not.
Yes, several of the big players did return the funds and there are several measures being proposed that may help some others but it’s still true that the procedures for granting loans was haphazard, with little oversight over who got what.
In the last few years, Salt Lake City has built a national reputation on its unique local dining and bar scene, a reputation built on the hard work and scant dollars of small business owners. Many of those, like Dean Pierose, owner of Cucina Deli, have decided not to reopen today just because the Governor says they can if they follow certain rules:
Obviously, allow no sick customers or workers in the establishment; all servers must wear face coverings and diners are encouraged to wear them, except when they’re actually eating; work space and dining space should be arranged so there is at least six feet between people and tables; everything should be disinfected between use.
You can read the details at Utah Leads Together 2.0 Plan.
But don’t be surprised if your favorite restaurant isn’t open yet. I encourage you to be a conscientious customer. Continue to order pick-up and curbside, keep buying gift certificates—Mother’ Day, graduates, wedding showers, because-you’re-a-nice-person presents, or follow my nephew’s practice—he’s buying a gift certificate from his favorite bar in the amount he’d be spending there in a week.
You can find a list of restaurants offering alternative dining at saltlakemagazine.com.