Tucson restaurant transitions to outdoor dining

Hotel Congress has new guidelines for dining in

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - COVID-19 has changed how restaurants do business. Many are still focused on take-out or delivery services and starting new dining room procedures.

Hotel Congress in Tucson is making changes to promote social distancing and helping guests feel more comfortable.

The hotel already shifted its operations and opened a pop-up grocery store in its lobby. Hotel Congress & Maynard’s Market General Manager Todd Hanley said they plan to transition the plaza area and Maynard’s Market patio for outdoor dining.

"Sunset dining when it's a little bit earlier in the evening and sunrise dining when it's earlier in the day," Hanley said.

He said summer isn't the most ideal time but eating outdoors is something many customers have said they want to do.

"A vast majority of them were very excited about dining outside, obviously some aren't going to go out at all until there is a vaccine, some would be very willing to dine inside but we were very pleasantly surprised to see the response from our guests," he said.

Hotel Congress will only offer outdoor dining when it first opens. Hanley said guests will not dine inside the Cup Cafe in the near future.

"The concern would be air conditioning," he said. "It is still a part of this whole discussion and research around how bad it is recirculating air."

He said Hotel Congress hopes to welcome guests back to dine outdoors in late May to early June.

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