Restaurants making plans for outdoor dining areas


HONOLULU (KHON2) — With more retailers reopening, restaurants are eagerly anticipating their reopening date next Friday, June 5.

Outdoor dining on the sidewalk is an option for restaurants to keep the same amount of tables, while still following social distancing rules. Some have already made plans to turn their indoor restaurants into a mixed indoor, outdoor setting.

At Tango Contemporary Café, owners are planning to have an outdoor dining area. They currently have a sidewalk area leading to a curbside pull-in where customers can drive in and pick up food. Goran Streng, co-owner of Tango Contemporary Café said they have been considering multiple layouts.

“Our outdoors area has always been quite big but we never really used it on a regular basis, we’ve done special events,” said Streng.

He said they will be opening outdoor dining for specific times.

“We don’t have an awning or anything, so what we’re probably looking at is opening up for dinner first,” said Streng. He adds they may add early morning breakfast as well.

Streng said it is too windy outside to add portable umbrellas and permanent umbrellas would need to be drilled in.

“We really don’t want to go [down] that route because it’s going to be permanent holes and fixtures,” said Streng.

Victor Lim, a Hawaii Restaurant Association member and former chair said they are recommending portable furniture so that it’s easy to bring inside when restaurants close.

“If you could use the furniture you have inside to put outside, [it] would be the easiest thing to do because then you will not have to incur additional costs.,” said Lim.

For those that can’t do that or want additional furniture to match their decoration, Inspiration Interiors is also selling outdoor furniture like this.

“We normally would just sell to just residential, but right now we understand what’s happening in the restaurant community because we also have Stage and Amuse,” said Julia Sorensen Shaw with Inspiration Interiors.

She said their furniture ticks off an important requirement for restaurants.

 “It’s an easy clean and you can use any cleaner on them… You can use Windex [or Clorox wipes]. You can use whatever you need to use to clean them,” said Shaw.

The Hawaii Restaurant Association said the most important thing is that the same rules are being followed inside a restaurant as well as outside.

“You need to make sure you follow the social distancing guideline of six feet between each table, that’s the first general rule, and then how much of the sidewalk can you go out,” said Lim.

He said this also goes for cleaning and sanitizing.

As for Tango Contemporary Café, Streng said he is excited for reopening.

“[We’ve] already had people calling and there’s interest so we’ll see how much of an interest there’s going to be,” said Streng.

The Hawaii Restaurant Association said restaurants are still finalizing reopening plans for next Friday.

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