Today is Monday, May 11. Indiana restaurants may reopen at 50% capacity, and the Indiana Restaurant and Lodging Association has released these guidelines for them, as outlined in the organization’s “Hoosier Hospitality Promise” and published at the Indianapolis Star.

Here’s what you can expect:
  • All staff, including in the kitchen, will wear masks.
  • All staff will pass a health check or complete a health survey prior to each shift.
  • Hand sanitation stations will be available upon entry and exit from restaurants.
  • All tables, chairs and common areas will be cleaned regularly.
  • Menus and condiments will be single-use. Utensils will either be single-use or cleaned after every use.
  • Each restaurant will have a designated employee to oversee safety and sanitation measures.
  • Bar seating will be closed, with no live entertainment.
  • Tables will be limited to 10 or fewer guests.
  • Physical barriers will be used to separate tables, booths and bar stools.
  • Communal serving areas such as buffets will be closed.
If patrons have been exposed to COVID-19 or have symptoms, they are asked to not dine in restaurants and order takeout instead. Restaurants will be limited to 50% capacity until June 14, at which time they will increase to 75% capacity. According Indiana’s plan, restaurants will be able to operate at full patron capacity beginning July 4. Bars will be closed until June 14 and will be able to operate at full capacity on July 4, pending continued positive trends.

Following in no particular order is a non-comprehensive seat-of-the-pants survey of independently owned establishments in Southern Indiana that have commented publicly about their reopening plans in the run-up to May 11. 

I exchanged messages with a few of the owners, and otherwise gleaned information from their social media posts and local news reports. Even if not explicitly stated, it is reasonable to assume that all these restaurants will continue their curbside carryout and delivery programs during the coming weeks, but of course there is no substitute for contacting them directly to be sure.  

Finally, to repeat, this is a survey; if your business has been omitted from either list, just e-mail me and I’ll update: foodanddiningmagazine@gmail.com

REOPENING THIS WEEK IN SOUTHERN INDIANA

The Exchange pub + kitchen, 118 W. Main Street, New Albany (and) Brooklyn and The Butcher, 148 E. Market Street, New Albany … here’s one detailed reopening protocol explanation for two eateries, both operated by Brand Hospitality Group. 

We are going to resume in restaurant dining starting at 11 a.m. on Thursday, May 14th. We are excited to see all of you again. We’ve been hard at work with our new Executive Chef, Zac Young, on a fantastic new summer menu. We really think it’s a winner.
There will be a few changes and guidelines once we re-open. All of these guidelines are in an effort to keep our community and our team safe and healthy while trying to offer a great dining experience.
  • All guests will have their temperature checked prior to entering the building.
  • We will only be seating every other table.
  • We will be allowing up to a maximum of 6 people to a table.
  • We will only be allowing a certain number of guests to be sat every 15 minutes.
  • During this time, our lobby will not be available as a waiting area. We respectfully ask that you wait outside of the restaurant for your table. You will be notified via text message when your table is available.
  • There will be no seating permitted at the bar until the middle of June.
  • We won’t be able to allow you to order drinks while you wait for your table as no-one can congregate in the building while waiting on their table.
We well also be adding curbside carryout to our regular operations. A lot of these changes are uncomfortable but at least they are temporary. But we know that everyone will be happy to accommodate them as everyone wants to be as safe as possible.

812 Pizza Company, 7600 Hwy 64, Georgetown (and) Dos Gringos Mexican Food & Drink, 149 Spring Street, Jeffersonville … there’s common ownership of these two eateries, with basically the same May 11 reopening message at both Facebook pages.

We’re so excited to announce the reopening of our dining room tomorrow May 11th. We are limiting our capacity to 50% and adjusting our floor plan to allow 6 feet of social distance between tables. We have missed serving our great community and can’t wait to have you back!

Harbor & Hops Restaurant Tap House, 3010 Gottbrath Parkway, Jeffersonville,

We return to full service dining (at 50% capacity) Monday. Our new menu will be available on Monday and we will continue to offer curbside carry out and growler fills during regular business hours too. We have completed a significant amount of staff training regarding COVID precautions in order to prepare for Monday’s opening. 

Boomtown Kitchen, 114 E. Main Street, New Albany

We are excited to open Monday 05/11/20 at 11am! We will be going above and beyond required procedures to provide a sanitized, distanced environment for our community. Reservations are NOT required but recommended. We can’t wait to see you!! Call for reservations 812-590-1314

Pearl Street Game & Coffee House, 405 Pearl Street, Jeffersonville

We are doing the same as during Covid-19. Service at the door. One person at a time. The next person in line waits outside, and the next person is six feet behind them. However, we are letting some people inside but managing capacity at 50%. We have hand sanitizer at our tables. We removed the bar.

Cast Iron Steakhouse, 1207 E. Market Street, Jeffersonville

We WILL 😄 be open on Monday at 4:00 with 50% seating. Please call for reservations it will be very difficult to do walk-in seating with only half capacity. Thank you for all your support the past two months. We love you all.

1816 Modern Kitchen & Drinks, 100 E. Chestnut Street, Corydon (and) Tavolo Italian Bistro, 204 E. Chestnut Street, Corydon … both operated by Southern Hospitality Food & Entertainment.
Both of our Corydon restaurants plan to open the week beginning May 11. We will adhere to the restrictions and still push carry out orders. We will ask guests to make reservations or call ahead.

Hoopsters Sports Grill, 830 E 10th Street, Jeffersonville

Phillip Caldwell, owner of Hoopsters Sports Grill in Jeffersonville, tells WAVE 3 News his restaurant will be open the first day possible. With the Hoopsters outdoor patio creating extra space, Caldwell said the restaurant can serve up to 75 people at once even with social distancing guidelines.
“I think it’s a great start to getting our economy back open,” Caldwell said.
He plans to spread out tables and remove bar seating to further comply with guidelines. Caldwell said he knows his customers are just as excited for the reopening as he is.

Habana Blues Tapas Restaurant, 320 Pearl Street, New Albany

As we opening today (May 11) 50% capacity and full hours of operations, we wanna try to (have) our customers (do) reservations only please, also we will have curbside, carry out and family package as well… no delivery thanks.

La Catrina Mexican Kitchen, 202 E. Elm Street, New Albany

UPDATE: Our restaurant in downtown New Albany will reopen for dine-in this Thursday, May 14th at 11am. Rest assured we are following local, state and federal health guidelines to ensure the safety of our guests and staff. WE LOOK FORWARD TO HAVING YOU AS DINE-IN GUESTS ONCE AGAIN! — And for those who aren’t yet ready to dine out, we will continue to serve curbside/carryout for your convenience.

NOT YET REOPENING IN SOUTHERN INDIANA

In my view it’s just as important to know the reasons cited by restaurateurs for not reopening immediately.  

Dragon King’s Daughter, 129 W. Market Street, New Albany

DKD New Albany will not be opening for dine-in services on May 11. There is currently no timetable for when we will resume dine-in operations. We will continue to offer curbside pickup 7 days a week happily accepting orders 11:30AM – 8PM.
We are extremely eager to get things rolling again, we miss everyone and absolutely LOVE serving you. Unfortunately, at this time we feel we need to be patient for a little longer. Our number one priority is the safety and well being of both our patrons and staff. We are confident with our current curbside pickup only business model we can continue to be a safe reliable dining option for the community.
Thank you for your continued support and understanding through these unusual times. Follow us here for more updates as they come!
Stay safe, stay healthy, but don’t stay hungry — call us at 812-725-8600!

Pearl Street Taphouse, 407 Pearl Street, Jeffersonville

Hey everyone! Kelly and I have decided not to open for dining service on May 11th. We believe it is to soon. We are so small inside and being unable to have guests at the bar doesn’t seem worth the risk. We WILL still have curbside, carryout and delivery. We have online ordering as well. You will be able to sit on the patio if the weather permits. We want to see if the numbers go down and if so we may open May 24th. I hope everyone understands our decision. The health of our customers and employees are our biggest concern. Thank you for everyone that has supported us during this difficult time. Please continue to support us so we will be here for you once we beat this virus. Sending love out to all of you. We will keep you posted! Let’s get through this time together. Until then cheers! We will be open on Sundays again starting this coming Sunday 12 to 8! Don’t forget we have growler fills!

Legacy Pizza and Bakery, 1001 Vincennes Street, New Albany

We will be continuing curbside mostly because we feel it is way too early and the safety of our family, staff and customers is our top priority.

New Albanian Brewing Company Pizzeria & Public House, 3312 Plaza Drive, New Albany

We’re staying the course. We’ve already decided and told all of our employees that we’ll be closed all April and May,” said Amy Baylor, President of New Albanian Brewing Company and Pizzeria. “If we don’t have a way to test people and keep them safe, all we’re going to end up doing is reinventing this virus.”
They made the decision to close their restaurant fully, with no pick up or take out options available. They say they will reevaluate things for June 1.

Pints&union, 114 E. Market, New Albany

(Joe) Phillips doesn’t plan to reopen his dining room until June citing a lack of testing for COVID-19 in Indiana.
“I think they’re making their best guess to try to save an economy, but I choose people over money,” Phillips said.
Phillips thinks that reopening his restaurant too early could further spread the virus but he’s not discouraging others from choosing to reopen.
“I have full confidence they will do the homework… and keep their staff and their guests as safe as I’m sure they’re all capable,” Phillips said.

The Charlestown Pizza Company, 850 Main, Charlestown

We will not open for dining in until June 1st at the earliest. We do not feel it is safe for our customers or our staff at this time. Thank you.

Portage House, 117 E. Riverside Drive, Jeffersonville … here’s what owner/chef Dallas McGarity told me: “I think we’re gonna shoot for a late May early June opening over at Portage. I am gonna change up the concept a little and make it more relaxed. I’ve been wanting to do that for a while and now is as good a time as any.”

Sam’s Food & Spirits, 702 Highlander Point, Floyds Knobs … the restaurant had been planning to reopen for dine-in next week at 50% capacity, but I just received a message that this has been pushed back. Sam’s is doing curbside carryout.

Fireside Bar & Grill, 7611 Highway 311, Sellersburg

As much as we miss our restaurant family, we have decided to remain closed to dine-in customers until Tuesday, June 2. We are so grateful for your support of our Curbside Carryout operation and we will continue to serve you for lunch and dinner … we will keep you updated on opening procedures as we get closer to reopening dining room. The health and safety of our staff, customers, and community is our first priority. We love and miss you all. Thank you for continuing to choose local when ordering takeout for you and your family.
See ya curbside!
Patty and Neil Smith

Cover photo credit: Clark Floyd Counties Convention Tourism Bureau