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Citrus Heights restaurants begin reopening for dine-in, with some changes

R Vida Cantina is among restaurants in Citrus Heights that have resumed dine-in eating. // CH Sentinel

Sentinel staff report–
After being given the green light to reopen for dine-in service by health officials on Friday, some local restaurants in Citrus Heights are beginning to allow sit-down eating.

Charlie’s Cafe on Auburn Boulevard is among restaurants that have already reopened for dine-in. The restaurant was featured on Good Day Sacramento on Saturday, with diners shown sitting down for a meal and operations returning somewhat to normal.

Changes implemented include social distancing policies, with eight tables removed to ensure seating is at least six feet apart. Printed menus at the cafe have also been laminated and taped down to each tabletop, rather than offering disposable menus.

Nearby, Felipe’s Mexican Restaurant also reopened for dine-in service, with seating limited to 50% capacity and no more than four customers allowed per table, according to an announcement posted by the restaurant on social media.

“We will be following the 6 feet distance guidelines, implement safety rules for sanitation, and our front staff will be wearing face masks,” the restaurant’s post said on Friday. “[W]e ask you to PLEASE BE PATIENT WITH US as we are all learning these new guidelines together.”

Other local restaurants have yet to reopen. As of Saturday, The Lodge restaurant and Tea It both had signs taped on their front doors saying the eateries were still closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Those that have reopened for dine-in eating typically are operating on reduced hours, like Beer Dogs at Sylvan Corners, which closes at 7 p.m. A manager said Saturday that hours may soon be extended to 10 p.m.

As previously reported, R Vida Cantina, a Mexican restaurant that opened on Sunrise Boulevard in December, is among those that have reopened for dine-in eating. Perko’s Cafe & Grill has also reopened for dine-in.

The City of Citrus Heights has compiled a list of restaurants currently open for business in the city, as part of a “Love Local” campaign to support local businesses. Nearly 100 restaurants are listed, but the city recommends calling ahead to ensure dine-in eating has resumed.

On Friday, following a revised order being issued by Sacramento County health officials, the City of Citrus Heights sent out an email update to businesses, specifying new requirements for reopening:

  1. Perform a detailed risk assessment and implement a site-specific protection plan to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
  2. Train employees on how to limit the spread of COVID-19, including how to screen themselves for symptoms and stay home if they have them.
  3. Implement individual control measures and screenings, depending on your industry.
  4. Implement disinfecting protocols.
  5. Implement physical distancing guidelines.
  6. Complete your industry-specific checklist and post a copy publicly, for customers and employees.

Business categories that are now allowed to reopen include car washes, child care, small offices where telecommute is not possible, medical and dental preventative care, plumbers, electricians and landscapers, and “micro enterprise” businesses and store fronts — which the city says typically have less than 10 employees.

Dog parks can also now reopen. Drive-thru graduations and drive-thru religious services are also allowed under the new “Stage 2B” reopening phase. Phase 3 will include more broad reopening of businesses.

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