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Local restaurants operating differently to combat COVID-19

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MIDDLE RIVER— Local restaurants are getting creative ever since Governor Hogan mandated that all restaurants close in house seating to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

David Steele, owner of Sunset Cove Beach Bar located on Red Rose Farm Rd. in Middle River, as well as Steelefish Grill and The Hickory Lodge in Bel Air, decided to offer free meals to kids at all three restaurants while schools are closed.

“We understand that schools suddenly being closed can burden families and some kids may miss out on their lunches. Sunset Cove would like to help by offering free meals to kids until schools reopen,” the management team wrote on their facebook page.

“Simply mention the ‘Children’s Special’ to your server and choose from Kid’s Burgers, PB&J or Butter Noodles. Sides available are apple sauce and French fries. We’ll get thru this together.”

Nicole Massoni, Manager of Sunset Cove, said they started this special before the state government ordered restaurants to close. Now, Massoni said, Sunset Cove will offer carry out to its customers and free delivery.

“The free delivery is within a 5 mile radius and we are also offering 20% off for all hospital, fire, and police.”

Massoni said keeping the restaurant clean is their number one priority all the time—but especially now.

“We have always been very clean. Every time the health department comes they always tell us we are one of the cleanest restaurants they see which is always awesome to hear. Our staff is wearing gloves, we are constantly Lysoling menus and countertops. We are just taking the extra step.”

Massoni said Sunset Cove is doing its best to keep spirits high both for the restaurant staff and the community.

“We are doing our best to let the community we are here to take care of them. I’m sure everyone has stocked up on their groceries but people may get sick of cooking, so we would be happy to deliver a meal if they want to get out of the house for a minute and come over and pick up some food. We will be here until we are told otherwise.”

Darlene Goding, Co-owner of Alice’s-A Family Restaurant, located at 2909 Eastern Blvd. in Middle River, said they too are taking carryout orders, providing free delivery to customers, and offering specials on some of their dishes.

“We are open 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. for breakfast, lunch and dinner. You can order online and our famous crab cakes, baby back ribs and other dishes will be on special,” Goding said.

“We need all the help we can get, everyone does right now.”

Alice’s is still a relatively new restaurant in the community but its owners have operated under other restaurants in Baltimore County for decades.

“It all started with the head of our family – the best chef in the household – Ms. Alice. There’s two things she loved most; family and good cooking,” it says on the restaurants website.

“Her recipes have been a family secret that’s been passed down for a number of generations and we continue to provide the great folks of our community with that same taste!”

Yiota Sarantakos, manager at Hazelwood Inn, located at 4937 hazelwood Ave. in Rosedale said they will be offering delivery for all food orders from 11:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Sundays through Thursdays and 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Hazelwood Inn will also have a 20% discount on all food orders for EMT workers.

Sarantakos said the staff is doing well and everyone is healthy.

“We sanitize everything every day so our customers and employees are safe,” Sarantakos said.

“This is a hard time but we are doing fine. It’s hard but it’s hard for everyone. People should take care of themselves and help each other right now.”

There are many other local restaurants that depend on people paying for their food and services to stay afloat. In the Classified section of The Avenue News ads from many other restaurants and businesses can be found with their phone numbers and address.

The County has also unveiled an online form to allow restaurants to self-report whether they are offering services during this time. Restaurant operators can share their location and what services they are providing, and the data collected will populate an interactive online map that residents can search. The BaltCo To-Go Map is on Baltimore County Government’s website.

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