Glass partitions? How one CT restaurant is handling reopening
When Aleks and Phyllis Gjeka opened La Fortuna Bar & Restaurant in Stratford in November, they figured much of their time would be spent preparing the food they planned to serve.
They hadn’t anticipated that, just four months later, a pandemic would force them to spend more time figuring out how to get that food to customers.
After a more than two months of a ban on sit-down service, Wednesday marked the first day the state allowed establishments like La Fortuna, an Italian restaurant and wine bar, to provide more than just delivery and takeout.
In preparation, they set up plexiglass partitions at each table to keep customers safe.
“We waited and we prepared for them,” Aleks Gjeka said. “Their safety is the main concern for us so we are taking every precaution.”
La Fortuna’s partitions may be giving potential customers a level of comfort: Gjeka said the restaurant had 20 confirmed reservations as of late Wednesday morning.
“They are very excited to come to La Fortuna and for things to go back to normal,” he said of the customers.
Here are some other precautions La Fortuna is taking:
Bottles of sanitizers in the lobby
Electrostatic sprayers to clean before and after every seating
One-time paper menus
Staff wearing masks and gloves at all times
Staff greeting customers as they enter and exit the outdoor patio
Gjeka knew there would be challenges in opening a new restaurant but wasn’t expecting these additional ones.
“It is what it is,” he said. “We have to face the realities and take all the precautions that need to be taken.”