Marietta Square restaurants wary of reopening Monday

Most Marietta Square restaurants will keep their dining rooms closed Monday, despite Gov. Brian Kemp’s decision allowing them to once again seat customers.

Scott and Alexis Kinsey of Fork U Concepts, which owns Taqueria Tsunami Stockyard Burgers & Bones, Forno Vero Marietta and Silla Del Toro, said those restaurants will continue serving customers through curbside orders.

The Kinseys said they will open “when we are ready and feel confident that we can keep our guests and team safe.”

"The impact of local restaurants is more evident than ever in the community, and we appreciate all your support," they wrote on the restaurants' Facebook pages. "Our passion is to serve you, and until we can have you back with friends and family in our dining room, please continue to tag and share your moments with us through social media."

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Jen Anderson, general manager at Two Birds Taphouse, said she will do what’s in the best interest of public health and keep the Powder Springs Street restaurant closed. Two Birds began providing curbside service March 16, and, for two weeks, Anderson said the staff ran a “pretty robust” operation. However, staff members who have compromised immune systems or are caregivers began expressing concerns about their safety, the manager said.

“That was all it took (for me) to say, ‘OK, we are going to put this on hold’,” Anderson said.

Two Birds is now closed completely, but offers a virtual trivia event each Tuesday on its Facebook page. Customers can also donate to a Venmo account to help employees hurt by the lack of work.

Anderson said she will take the next two weeks to determine if Two Birds should re-open for take-out service.

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Marietta Pizza Company co-owner Howard Wolfson said the restaurants on Whitlock Avenue and Mary Eliza Trace won’t jump start its dine-in service “as we are awaiting the guidelines from the governor’s office.”

At least one Marietta restaurant will open its doors, however. Gary Leake, owner of Johnnie MacCracken’s Celtic Firehouse Pub, is preparing for a “radically different way we have done business in our industry.” Leake said the popular restaurant on Atlanta Street will open Monday with limited seating and incorporate a permanent to-go operation into its business model.

“I think the days of elbow-to-elbow might not return for some time and for many, this pandemic may change habits permanently,” he said.

Leake added he believes Gov. Kemp is “prudent and is what I call a working person’s governor.”

“He is giving businesses like ours that require personal contact a fighting chance to survive,” he said.

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