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“The New Normal” for restaurants in Horizon West during COVID-19

“The New Normal” is a phrase one hears a lot as of late. COVID-19 has truly changed the way almost every business operates. Seeking the best and safest experience for residents, many restaurants have improved their procedures and Horizon West is no exception. This local community of business owners has stepped up to the challenge of safety and have done a marvelous job meeting the standards of the “New Normal”.

Curbside pickup has become a common option for foodies who still want to get their grub on from home. You order, drive to the curb of the restaurant, and a friendly server will come to your car to bring your order. While this is not a new concept, many restaurants have added this option in order to better accommodate customers. Restaurants now utilizing this technique in the Horizon West area include The Great Greek, Bella Italia, and Agave Azul. Agave Azul announced this week on Facebook that they are also restructuring their restaurant format to create the safest environment for diners and that they will be closing their indoor seating to deep clean the inside of their restaurant. Note: many of the restaurants named will also offer a blend of the services mentioned in this post. It’s highly recommended that if you wish to eat out at any restaurant, you see what options they offer that you are comfortable with.

Don’t feel like stepping out of your house or your PJs? Delivery has become another popular option for Horizon West diners! UberEats, DoorDash, Postmates, and GrubHub have expanded their delivery zones to include communities that are typically outside of the normal delivery areas. Most delivery apps are also including discounts for residents who want to stay home, which is an ideal solution for those who may be immunocompromised. PeaPod Pierogie is a delicious example of delivery only food purveyance. This is a great choice for Polish food fans, as they offer up a “Polish Survival Kit” including pierogi, stuffed cabbage, and Kielbasa. Yummy!

​Since Orange County has lifted the lockdown on non-essential businesses, restaurants have worked hard to create new systems of dining to ensure a safe dining experience. Limited dine in has become commonplace with restaurants filling their seating to usually 50% capacity or less as well as keeping tables six to eight feet apart. This option keeps customers safe, as CDC recommends a six-foot distance for groups of people not living together.

Restaurants offering limited dine in include Bella Italia Ristorante, Perotti’s Deli, and Humbl. Humbl is a unique option for Horizon West’s vegan diners, offering both plant-based burgers, pizza, and french fries. They also offer solutions for carnivore customers as well. Humbl is a great way to enjoy some of your typical fast casual favorites without breaking your diet!

​Craving some Turkish cuisine? Bosphorus in Hamlin is an amazing example of a restaurant that has adapted skillfully to new safety guidelines. They did not stop at socially distant tables and limited capacity. Bosphorus has outlined their safety precautions in a post on Facebook, stating that they are conducting health screenings for all employees, requiring gloves and masks for employees, disinfecting tables after each guest visit, installing hand sanitizer at points throughout the restaurant and cleaning common “guest touch points”. If you as a diner are looking to go somewhere to begin visiting restaurants again, Bosphorus is waiting for you. If the safety precautions alone are not enough to draw you in, the food surely will. Not only is the food authentic and flavorful, but they often offer amazing deals during Happy Hour, including 50% off of wine, beer and cocktails.

​Once you’ve filled up with just enough room for dessert, stop by Scoops n Smiles in Windermere, a locally owned ice cream shop that is also open for limited dining as well as carryout. This adorable little shop often offers BOGO deals on sundaes as well as take-home pints. They also offer celebration cakes to take home if you are planning a socially distant birthday celebration.

​As a note: many of the restaurants named will also offer a blend of the services mentioned in this post. If you are curious about the safety precautions of restaurants, your best option is to give them a call or utilize the chat feature on Facebook. Businesses have been very quick to answer questions considering new regulations being placed on restaurants.

It is hard to find a person whose life has not been impacted by coronavirus. It is also hard, sometimes, to find a silver lining to this storm cloud over us. If anything should lift your heart, it should be the response of our local communities that are striving to do better for their customers. The next time you are craving a little Mexican food, or some Italian or some Mediterranean, remember that by buying from a local restaurant you are becoming the silver lining on a small business owner’s cloud.

Mike Spicer local Realtor, lives, works and enjoys Horizon West daily. If you ever have questions about the neighborhoods or homes in the area feel free to reach out to Mike directly, he would love to help. This blog written by, the Michael Spicer, P.A. Team.

Michael Spicer, P.A.

Assoc Broker

Keller Williams Realty


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