Breaking News
More () »

Maine's Leading Local News: Weather, Traffic, Sports and more | Maine | NewsCenterMaine.com

Portland-area businesses sticking to takeout, outdoor dining options only

Despite being allowed to welcome customers back inside to dine in, multiple businesses in the Portland-area say it's not worth the risk.

PORTLAND, Maine — Restaurants in all Maine counties have been allowed to welcome customers inside their businesses for indoor dining, however many in the Greater Portland area are opting to keep their doors closed.

"Safety for our crew, for ourselves, for the customers," said Kathleen Pratt, co-owner of Tandem Coffee in Portland. 

Tandem is one of the many businesses not opening up their dining room. After being forced to close for months due to the pandemic, the coffee shop is sticking with takeout only. 

"Were still able to actually connect with people through masks and Plexiglas. As long we're staying safe, but also serving our community, we're going to make it work," said Pratt. 

RELATED: Maine reopening plan accelerated, indoor dining now allowed in all 16 counties

RELATED: Restaurants can resume dine-in service Wednesday, but some aren't ready to reopen

It's been nearly two weeks since restaurants in all Maine counties were given approval as part of the state's reopening plan to welcome customers back inside. More are following trends like Tandem Coffee however following reports of coronavirus case spikes in states that have fully reopened. 

The Holy Donut is sticking with takeout, and delivery only at all three locations, and using the drive-through at the Scarborough location. 

"We're here for our employees and for the community so it was an easy call to make, it was just simply finding out what the right mix," said Holy Donut director of business operations Ryan Howe. 

The Holy Donut was forced to temporarily close it's Exchange Street in Portland location due to the pandemic, however that now reopens for takeout. Howe and his staff have also worked to welcome customers, and give them a typical coffee shop feel, without allowing anyone inside. 

"Sure people have not been able to sit in the actual restaurants anymore to be able to dine. But what we've found and has been great through the entire time is there are people who are taking the opportunity here in our parking lot. They tailgate, we've had people having picnics," said Howe. 

Portland's Other Side Diner is also sticking with outdoor dining and takeout options only. They're utilizing a drive-thru window too that had previously gone unused but had already been established at the shop just of Washington Avenue. 

"When this thing happened, we were like wow we've got a drive-through window, lets use it. And it's great, it makes it so we can have contactless service," said Other Side Diner co-owner Pete Sueltenfuss. 

The Otherside Diner was closed for roughly two months because of the pandemic. Now that they're open for takeout, delivery, and outdoor seating, they plan to take their time in an effort to keep staff and customers safe.

"Why rush. Let's just take out time and hope this thing settles down and we can turn the page and figure out what's next," said Sueltenfuss. 

All of these businesses do say profits are down significantly but want to take their time in reopening. All of these breakfast spots say they hope to reopen sometime soon, but for now, outdoor dining and takeout options only are the best fit for them.