LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — For more than six weeks, restaurant dining rooms across Kentucky have sat empty.
Thousands of workers were furloughed or let go. Some places closed entirely, while others had to revamp overnight to comply with CDC guidelines and offer curbside pickup.
The night that restriction was enforced, our Katherine Collins spoke to the marketing director of Corto y Lima, Brie Lowry Cox. Cox said they were going to close down the restaurant for a week, and try and figure things out.
"It was like living in a really bad dream. It didn't feel like real life," said Brie Lowry Cox.
During the brief shutdown, Cox says she watched what other restaurants were doing for curbside, then developed a model.
Needing to limit staff inside the restaurant, Corto y Lima has shifted to a pre-order service that mostly operates outside their doors.
"So for a Saturday order, you would order Friday afternoon, evening. Then I go through and confirm everybody at night and just say, 'Hey I got your order. We've got you for this time. We will see you on Short Street. Please form a queue,'" said Cox.
Which means the demand for tacos, queso, fresh guacamole and margaritas is met while adhering to social distancing guidelines.
"It's a totally different space in there right now. It doesn't feel like a restaurant that would've been bustling with 75 people in that room," said Cox.
People will dine inside the restaurant again, but when and how is still up in the air. The curbside model is working right now, and Cox is happy they're still open.
"Rebound is a great word for us, for this, because you go from being at the bottom of the dumps of being closed to seeing guests and smiling. That adrenaline that way you feel when you get to give them a great experience," said Cox.
An experience that will continue at a distance until further notice.