Huntsville restaurants navigate dining options during surge of coronavirus cases

Restaurants told WAAY 31 how they're trying to keep health and safety a priority.

Posted: Jun 27, 2020 10:55 PM
Updated: Jun 29, 2020 8:53 AM

With the state adding nearly 900 coronavirus cases Saturday, we wanted to see how local restaurants are responding to the increase in new cases.

WAAY 31 spoke with some managers about their approaches to staying open right now.

Restaurants like the Brass Tap have patio seating available to customers who want the dine-in feel without feeling crowded.

But at Phuket in Providence, the only seating option is outside and the owner told us he plans to keep it that way for the foreseeable future.

"So far, I think we are okay even with just the outside, because if you look at our patio, it's a pretty good size," said Furit Phornroekngam.

Phornroekngam is the owner of Phuket and as soon as coronavirus hit Alabama, they closed their dine-in services. That was three months ago, and he told WAAY 31 it'll stay that way until the pandemic is over.

Harold Smith is the general manager of the Brass Tap, and he is keeping both dine-in and patio services open to customers.

Restaurants already operate at 50% capacity and if he cut the size down even more to just outside, he couldn't afford to keep all of his staff.

"We don't want to have to do that to our employees because they suffered for over a month of being unemployed, so we really hope we don't have to do that again," said Smith.

Smith told us business has been slower since the pandemic started, but he's happy to see his customers again.

Although the number of cases keeps increasing, he wants people to take necessary precautions, like social distancing and wearing masks, so they won't have to cancel all their summer plans.

"We have big plans for the summer and we'd like to get back on track with our plans. We do live music here and we have a lot of things for outdoors planned you know," he said.

Both restaurants want to keep their doors open as long as they can, but they say it's not easy.

They hope the community will keep eating local while keeping health guidelines as a top priority.

"We need busy activity to keep it going. We cannot shut down again. We have to be safe and also be able to keep everyone here," said Phornroekngam.

At both restaurants, curbside pickup is still an option for a no-contact way to get your food.

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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 244993

Reported Deaths: 3572
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson32314500
Mobile19859361
Madison13223148
Tuscaloosa13049154
Montgomery12342236
Shelby1031577
Baldwin873398
Lee775766
Morgan662650
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Etowah627666
Marshall627255
Houston525638
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Cullman439442
Limestone425145
St. Clair419555
Lauderdale407854
Elmore406864
Walker3657111
Talladega351454
Jackson320423
Colbert311942
Blount292240
Autauga273542
Franklin252633
Coffee245415
Dale232654
Dallas226232
Chilton223438
Russell22193
Covington218934
Escambia198331
Chambers176850
Tallapoosa176391
Pike158614
Clarke158419
Marion140236
Winston133023
Lawrence127936
Pickens123518
Geneva12218
Marengo121524
Bibb117917
Barbour117310
Butler116541
Randolph102921
Cherokee102224
Hale97031
Clay91924
Fayette91616
Washington91219
Henry8546
Lowndes79929
Monroe78911
Cleburne77214
Macon73722
Crenshaw71130
Bullock69619
Perry6886
Conecuh68414
Lamar6798
Wilcox63518
Sumter58122
Greene42618
Choctaw42213
Coosa3444
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 363466

Reported Deaths: 4541
CountyCasesDeaths
Shelby47682658
Davidson42703420
Knox18764149
Rutherford17749161
Hamilton16701152
Williamson1140080
Sumner9744137
Out of TN758152
Wilson748178
Montgomery658683
Sullivan643996
Washington6000106
Putnam591382
Maury584267
Blount549160
Madison5349110
Bradley519735
Sevier484831
Unassigned468222
Robertson377453
Tipton365938
Hamblen345560
Gibson323365
Dyer320751
Greene308272
Anderson294629
Dickson289133
Coffee281841
Bedford275630
Carter272455
Lawrence270034
Obion265950
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McMinn252355
Warren240020
Roane235229
Loudon228019
Jefferson226932
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Hardeman224737
Weakley216937
Monroe212744
Franklin208634
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Hawkins194934
Wayne192010
Trousdale190512
Henderson185133
Macon184028
Hardin178125
White176918
Carroll174734
Marshall174420
Rhea169731
Haywood162930
Lincoln161215
Cocke160630
Cheatham158617
Overton154335
Campbell154223
Henry153619
Giles146949
Smith143819
Johnson141621
McNairy140233
Fentress121920
Hickman118219
Lake11766
Bledsoe11745
DeKalb115822
Crockett115526
Marion109819
Scott10727
Chester102520
Grainger101217
Decatur95513
Unicoi85826
Claiborne8369
Benton81314
Grundy77714
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Lewis76314
Morgan7306
Union7195
Humphreys7098
Jackson68410
Polk66515
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