Some Richmond restaurants opt to stay in Phase 2

Posted at 7:27 PM, Jul 02, 2020

RICHMOND, Va. -- With Phase 3 underway in Virginia as of Wednesday, some restaurants are expanding operations. However, others are erring on the side of caution.

Lance Nelson, the owner of the Daily Menu restaurant in Richmond is asking the public to be patient.

"We don't really care about what everybody else is doing," Nelson said. "Basically because I mean at the end of the day, at the end of the day, business is going to be business."

Nelson said the decision not to move into Phase 3 with others on July 1 was simple.

"We're trying to keep the coronavirus down and keep people safe," Nelson said. "I want to keep my staff safe."

Nelson isn't alone. Kevin Liu, the co-owner of The Jasper, is also delaying entering Phase 3.

"Our priority number one, and really any restaurant ultimately, is safety," Liu said. "Safety of the public, safety of the staff -- and that's not just lip service. I want my guests to feel very comfortable here."

Phase Three though will see bar seating at restaurants continue to be prohibited, a move by Gov. Ralph Northam to stop customers from gathering too close.

"I would ask the public to be patient," Liu said.

Nelson said preventing the spread of COVID-19 a bigger concern than entering Phase 3.

"Basically we're going to stay on Phase 2 until things change," said Nelson, who is relying on what his business does best. "Product is great, so you got to keep going. That's the only way you're going to survive in this business anyway."

Liu said customers eating out should be aware that dining will not be like the days before COVID-19.

"[Don't]... go into an establishment expecting things to be normal again," Liu said. "Please don't think that."