Tulsa Restaurants Open For Dine-In For First Time In 6 Weeks

Friday, May 1st 2020, 9:37 pm
By: Chinh Doan

Tulsa restaurants are allowed to have customers dine in for the first time since March 17th.

As Mayor GT Bynum’s executive order expired at midnight on April 30, restaurants are now no longer limited to drive-through, carry-out and delivery.

On May 1, News On 6 noticed many restaurants choosing to stay closed and waiting to see how other businesses do before letting customers in.

At MexiCali Border Cafe downtown, staff said the extra costs and logistics to open their doors

are worthwhile.

Jim and Deana Goekler of Sperry kicked off their weekend with a ride into town and dinner there.

The couple in their 70s said they feel safe dining out.

"We don't push our luck with that, but we're going to live our life like we've always lived it, just with a little more precaution,” said Jim Goekler.

It may be awhile before the dining experience is back to normal.

At MexiCali Border Cafe, most bar stools are roped off, and half the tables are closed off for physical distancing.

The restaurant’s general manager, Albert Cronheim, said a host now keeps customers outside until their tables are ready.

Cronheim said employees also check their temperature before going to work and wear masks.

He said the logistics have been challenging but worthwhile.

"This is extreme work, but you have to do what you have to do,” said Cronheim. “I mean, our customers wanted us to have food available to them, so we did."

Meanwhile, other businesses told News On 6 it's too early to open their doors.

Katie Hutto, co-owner of Glacier Bean to Bar downtown and Glacier Confection in Utica Square, said her businesses will stick to curbside pick-up for now.

"We just got the guidelines from the health department, and to implement those properly, I think we need a little bit more time,” said Hutto.

She said staff and customers have been understanding.

"I think it will be interesting to see if they're going to be eager to get back into restaurants and sitting down in a community space,” said Hutto.

Hutto also said many businesses are bouncing ideas off each other and communicating via email throughout the pandemic.