BANGOR, Maine — In downtown Bangor, some restaurants took the past few months to renovate their dine-in areas and kitchens during the coronavirus pandemic. Most eateries in the Bangor area are offering curbside pick up to stay afloat.
Paddy Murphy's opened for curbside pick up a week ago, on Friday, May 15, after being closed for almost two months. The pub renovated and rebuilt its kitchen for the first time since opening 13 years ago.
"We scrubbed, cleaned, degreased, primed, painted, sealing all the way down, new FRP board on the walls, brand new floor, new plumbing, new wiring, new everything," said John Dobbs, one of the managers at Paddy Murphy's.
Dobbs says curbside pickup might be the new normal for now and for the foreseeable future.
Across the street, business is pretty steady for Umami Noodle Bar, a restaurant that opened 5 years ago.
Umami is still open for curbside pickup, and recently renovated the bar area and added a new area for more socially distanced tables.
"With it being closed, we took the opportunity to actually renovate and update the entire layout of the floor, so when we can finally have people come in and sit in, it'll be a better experience, a little bit homey, feel more like a family-style restaurant that we all kind of really need right now," said Ben Alexander, the manager at Umami Noodle Bar.
11 Central is a restaurant in downtown Bangor that is offering curbside pickup on Friday's and Saturdays only. Owner Michael Towle says they will start having lunch options soon, too.
During the pandemic, Towle's 10-year-old daughter Mckenley decided to help her parents out by delivering take out meals to car-bound customers.
"I do a lot of the bringing out the orders and taking out the signatures slips, and sometimes I would answer the phone and put in the orders and I would check in with the clerks and see when the food is ready inside," said Mckenley Towle.
"It's hard for us right now and I just want to help my parents in any way I can."
"Hopefully with June 1 around the corner we can start to implement some dine-in service in addition to what I think might be a new trend is more take-out mix, as people are not really ready to come out fully but still want to dine out and support," added Micheal Towle.
The managers of these downtown Bangor restaurants say they hope to reopen for dine-in services on June 1. Some want to add outside tables to serve current customers, all while making adjustments to fully reopen safely when permitted.
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