The shutdown has been difficult on all of us, but as Governor DeSantis’ Phase 2 of opening up the state proceeds a number of restaurants in South Florida are re-opening.

And, if you’re as tired of your own cooking as I am, this might come as welcome news. Many places are requiring employees to wear protective gloves. Please keep in mind that these gloves are supposed to be replaced when moving from one group of activity to another. If you see a server wearing the same gloves while serving multiple parties, speak up to management. Without changing gloves, employees are just transferring germs and viruses from one surface to another, just as they would without gloves. If the reopening is to be successful and not just another opportunity to spread the disease, we must all be vigilant. If you see something, say something.

Here’s a run-down of what some local places are doing to aid in re-opening the state and what their businesses are offering. Following local and CDC guidelines, employees must have their temperature checked upon arrival and will wear masks; food service workers should wear gloves at all times; restaurants with outdoor seating will space each table six feet apart and indoor seating must be at least 50% capacity, with tables spaced six feet apart. Restaurants will sanitize tables and seats between each use. Guests will receive paper menus that are discarded after each use. Utensils must be single-use or sanitized between each use. Hand sanitizer stations should be placed throughout the restaurants.

Big Time Restaurant Group re-opened Louie Bossi’s for lunch and dinner Monday, May 18, and the Group’s Big City Tavern will open on Wednesday, May 20 for dinner. 

“Our Palm Beach County re-openings have gone smoothly, and we are thrilled to welcome our guests and staff back to our Fort Lauderdale locations. As always, their safety is our number one priority,” said Todd Herbst, co-owner/founder of Big Time Restaurant Group.  “We have always been fastidious about cleanliness, but we are taken greater care than ever to meet and exceed government guidelines.”

TooJay’s Delis welcomed guests back into its dining rooms at all locations throughout Florida on Monday, May 18. TooJay’s will be following all capacity and distancing requirements from local and state governments. Guests are encouraged to visit TooJay’s website,, to check dining hours as they may vary by location.

Chops Lobster Bar, in Boca Raton, opened May 15 for dine-in service. Its sister locations, Lobster Bar Sea Grille in Fort Lauderdale and Lobster Bar Sea Grille in Miami Beach may be open by the time this article is published. Check the company’s website,, for more information. The restaurant will be open for dinner Sunday through Thursday from 5 to 9 p.m. and on Friday and Saturday from 5 to 10 p.m. It is following national, state and local safety guidelines along with some additional measures to ensure the safety of their staff and their guests.

ChopsPlate 5 18 2020

"Surf n Turf" meal at Chops Lobster Bar. Photo submitted.

Carlos & Pepe's, in Fort Lauderdale, opened on Monday, May 18 for dine-in, while still offering curbside pick-up and delivery options. The restaurant's hours of operation will be 11:30 a.m. until 10 p.m. daily. The restaurant will be offering indoor and outdoor seating.

The Pub has reopened for dining, it is conforming to suggested guidelines for staff and guests and is offering a $5 burger and fries deal on Mondays from 10 a.m. until 11 p.m.

J. Marks is celebrating reopening with an open bar from 5 to 6 p.m., daily through June 8. It’s limited to two drinks per person with purchase of a regular priced entree per person, for dine-in only!

We’ll have more information on restaurant openings as soon as we are notified.

BTW:  Our apologies to Le Patio in Wilton Manors, we misunderstood the recording on their voicemail and reported they were closed — it remains open for pick-up. We regret the error.