Restaurants, Salons Consider Reopening Plans

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“We are cautiously excited about the news,” Restaurant Bricco owner Billy Grant said.

Just one day after Connecticut officially announced plans for its first phase of reopening on May 20, businesses in the service economy like restaurants, salons and small retailers are digesting what that would look like for them.

“How many seats am I really going to have out there going for maybe 14 tables to 10 tables and is it going to be actually worth it to even open?” Grant asked.

Grant said he’s been breaking even each week with takeout orders. He says the governor’s plan to reopen restaurants outdoor only may not help his bottom line.

“My fear is that opening up the patio is going to bring added expense, I don’t want to go backwards,” Grant said.

He’s operating with 10 employees a day right now. He said opening the patio would require bringing in several more workers and he’s not sure he has enough furniture or fencing to expand his patio space.

“I’m excited I think the clients want to come back,” Shari Phillips, owner of Matthew Phillips Salon said.

As for hair salon owners like Phillips, she’s anticipating striking a balance between expected demand for her salon’s services with safety.

“I anticipate maybe two clients in our size salon in a given time. We’re about 1500 square feet so this gives us a lot of room for distancing,” Phillips said.

Phillips said she’ll disinfect between appointments, require employees to wear masks, gloves and coverings and asking clients to bring in minimal belongings.

“People will get in with their phone and a credit card no pocketbooks,” Phillips said.

Gov. Ned Lamont said the timing of the four re-opening phases will depend on the state’s continued testing and contact tracing capacity.

“It sounds great but it’s going to be a process it’s going to have to happen gradually we’re not just going to be able to jump into it,” Grant said.

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