Tim Tower, May 26, 2020
We opened for takeout again at Barnacle Billy's starting on Thursday, May 21, before Memorial Day weekend. We did as well as we could have done under the circumstances. We are not really a takeout place, as you know. And we couldn't generate the revenue we need to pay our loyal employees if we stayed this way throughout the summer. So on June 4th, we will open with limited inside dining, outside dining and, also, continue with the takeout service. At the end of that weekend, we will decide on expanding our service through other days of the week until we are open on a daily basis, like normal. I don't believe there will be a normal this season but we are going to get as close as we can.
So far, I have not heard that alcohol takeout service will be curtailed. So until our Governor decides that we can't make alcohol a to-go item, we will still be selling our rum punches off the premises. Alcohol being served in the restaurant will have to remain on the premises until you have finished your drink or decide that you have had enough.
On line ordering started this last weekend. It went surprisingly well. We had no problems that I know about. Today we are starting to put together an online system to sell our merchandise through this website. The email address associated with this will be email@example.com. Of course, that's also a means of getting in touch with us. I appreciate the feedback, regardless of whether the feedback is good or bad. We learn from both. It's nice to get the praise. But if we don't hear about the bad things, we can't improve. We need to improve.
Through all this we are trying to maintain the flavor of Barnacle Billy's. It will be different, certainly. There will be less tables in the dining room. One of the fireplaces will not be functional under the current conditions. The one closest to the bridge will be. The deck will have the “four top” tables pushed together. This will make a bigger table and increase the distance between tables. The deck, I feel, will be most like what you have come to expect at Barnacle Billy's. The normal front door will not be utilized to accept customers into the building. Instead, we will be using the egress on the patio, leading you to the deck and the dining room. This will also eliminate the bathrooms in the same building. You will be able to use the bathrooms next door at Barnacle Billy's, Etc. During this first week of table service, you will also be able to use the garden patio at Barnacle Billy's, Etc. It will have a new access way right from the street. Before, you had to go through the building to get to Etc's patio. I will try to keep you informed of any other changes we make moving forward.
It was a strange Memorial Day weekend. Never have I seen so few people in town, so much less traffic and so much less celebration at a time when celebration of life is so sorely needed. Memorial Day itself was so dead as to be almost disturbing. The thing I miss the most, though, is going around to the tables and greeting our regular patrons. I hardly recognize the patrons we have now because all of them are wearing face masks! And I am concerned that when we do open for eating on premises that we might have to have some kind of limit on staying at a table for as long as some have stayed in the past. It may be that you have to be enjoying our food in order stay. Certainly, it should not be a concern if we aren't very busy. I have yet to come to a salient decision on this. I may just play it by ear.
Customer confidence is also a huge concern of mine. I want people to feel that they are safe when dining at Barnacle Billy's. We have a brand new cleaning protocol that we are and will continue to be adhering to. This also includes a better way of cleaning the restaurant during the night after we have closed. All the employees will be wearing masks and participating in extra hygiene activities, with frequent hand washing, gloves and much sanitizing of surfaces and areas that are touched by hands. Patrons will also be required to wear face coverings while moving around and into the restaurant. I, of course, will not be enforcing this while dining. Also, we will be paying attention to the condition of our customers, health wise. I do not want to see anyone getting sick because we aren't on the ball.
All this will be spear headed by our management team, the Super Six, including Matt Pedersen, Chuck MacDonald, Stu Dunn, Eric Littlefield, Tomas Sullivan and Chad Schools, all of whom have been instrumental in moving this forward and coming up with ideas that are just wonderful in outcome. I rely on this team so heavily. They have not disappointed me yet. I honestly don't think we could not do what we are doing without them. And all have been here many years proving their worth multiple times. As I say so often; they make me look good!
I will be glad when I can look back at this and say; “Remember when...?” Until that time we will be adjusting to the new normal on a daily basis until all this simmers down a bit. Stay with us and stay informed.