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Nearly three months into offering in-person service during the COVID-19 era, Jaime’s Mexican Restaurant at 1910 S. Depew St. is adjusting to the new normal.
When dine-in services were suspended by the state in mid-March to slow the spread of the Coronavirus, Jaime’s Mexican Restaurant resorted to takeout and curbside services.
The restaurant has been open at its current location for five years and was at another location for around 20 years. Its green chile is one of its popular dishes, according to its staff.
Jaime Navarro Jr. is the manager of Jaime’s Mexican Restaurant. The establishment is owned by his family, and Navarro Jr. said at the beginning of the stay-at-home order, he had his doubts about opening the restaurant. After the second or third week, Navarro Jr. said regular customers started to trickle in for curbside pickup services.
Navarro Jr. said being able to offer to-go alcohol beverages, like the restaurant’s margaritas, provided its customers with a similar experience as the one they had when they could eat at the restaurant in-person. He said his customers have shown excitement when they found out about the option.
Colorado recently passed a law that will allow for restaurants to offer to-go alcohol beverages for at least another year.
“(To-go alcohol beverages) helped us a lot. I feel like the customers appreciate it,” said Navarro Jr. “Every restaurant has their own recipe, and our regular customers love our margaritas.”
The restaurant is adhering to restrictions placed on restaurants by the state that allow for dine-in service to be carried out. Restaurant employees are required to wear face coverings and must deep clean and disinfect all shared surfaces. Tables are required to be spread out at least six feet apart, and party sizes are limited to eight people or fewer.
Navarro Jr. said Jaime’s Mexican Restaurant has had to turn down a few customers who refused to wear a mask. Customers are strongly encouraged to wear face coverings when they go to a Colorado restaurant. Multiple health officials throughout the country have said masks help stop the spread of the coronavirus. Denver for example has a mandatory face mask order.
“It’s our safety before theirs. We’re worried about our employees,” said Navarro Jr.
Since it was allowed to offer dine-in service again, Navarro Jr. said the restaurant has been able to hire more employees. He said there are times when he gets worried about going into work due to the risk of the Coronavirus.
“You go in and you see someone come in, and you’re just worried that something might happen. If someone has the virus, that is going to put everyone at risk,” said Navarro Jr. “That’s what I’m scared about.”