A new start

Beautifying, eating out among reintroduced Town biz re-openings

Many area businesses, having been completely or partially shut down by the COVID-19 pandemic, eagerly jumped back into service Friday, May 1, under strict guidelines.

Knox County Health Department had announced a three-phase COVID-Reopening Plan earlier in the week, allowing for restaurants to re-open at 50 percent capacity, and personal care salons to operate a strict “one-on-one” policy to limit physical interactions.

Farragut Mayor Ron Williams spot-checked five businesses Thursday, April 30, ensuring compliance with the Knox County Health Department’s guidelines, including Water Into Wine bistro & lounge, Sam & Andy’s-West, Jet’s Pizza, Little Joe’s Pizza and La Parilla Cantina Mexican Kitchen.

Re-open rundown

“(Water Into Wine owner Candace Viox) covered everything she’s supposed to cover 100 percent,” Williams said.

Of the other restaurants, the mayor said he, “found they had the same amount of preparedness. ... All had 97 or higher on their health scores.”

Phil Dangel, owner of The Shrimp Dock, with locations in Farragut and Bearden, opened his restaurant Friday.

“We only had three tables open (on Friday) because we’re small, and they were filled,” he said. “... We did a lot of take-outs, but we didn’t do a lot of inside seating, and that’s fine with us.

“We have survived, and we expect a big Mother’s Day, and we’re ready for it,” Dangel added. “We thank Farragut for their support.”

 I Love Juice Bar — from Luna Arlington, associate (employee):

“We have more customers coming in than we did. It was already going back to normal on Friday, too,” Arlington said.

Debi Tuttle, owner of Town Framery & Gifts, 12814 Kingston Pike, Farragut, opened her business Monday, May 4.

“We’ve actually been steady,” she said. “People are coming back … can’t complain.”

About waiting until Monday, “We just spent last week just getting ready,” Tuttle said.

Seasons Innovative Bar & Grille, 11605 Parkside Drive, also opened Monday.

“We just opened yesterday, and we have all our procedures in place,” Certified Executive Chef Deron Little, owner of Seasons and Kitchen 919 (downtown Knoxville), said Tuesday, May 5. “Last night, we had a nice night. ... Dinner (Tuesday) should be busy, I hope.

“With our patio, we expect the night should be steady for us, and our delivery and pick-up food has picked up also,” Little added.

Additionally, he is continuing his curbside service. “We are, obviously (at only) 50 percent capacity. No one at the bar, and we have many, many systems set up to sanitize menus. And we’re taking temperatures before people (both employees and customers) come in the door,” Little said.

The Davis Family Y along Northshore Drive reopened Friday with a 45-minute limit on workouts and requirements for members and employees to wear masks.

“There are a lot of restrictions we have had to follow, but we are just glad to be open again,” Senior Program director Steve Barnas said.

Susan Philipson, who works in health and wellness at the facility, was hard at work wiping down and sanitizing an array of treadmills, with every other one restricted from use to maintain social distance requirements.

Weight classes and chair yoga were among those resuming.

Great Clips along Brooklawn Street re-opened Friday.

“The customers have really been great about the wait,” said Sara Sutherland, director of operations for East Tennessee, helping schedule clientele who were looking at as much as three-hour wait times due to the restrictions on how many individuals could be inside the salon at a time.

The Embroidery Boutique along Brooklawn also reopened, with owner Debby Funk — who had been featured on Knox County Commissioner at-large Larson Jay’s e-mailed constituent update earlier in the day — relaying she was “very excited to be back. We were considered a non-essential business, so we basically had to shut our doors,” Funk said. “But starting out, I’m going to limit the customers to two at a time.”

The Adorable Child consignment shop also re-opened May 1.

“We were closed for five weeks and had to furlough our whole team,” co-owner Brad Hobbs said. “We tried to sell things online, but it just was not the same.

“... We are also offering shopping by appointments for those who would prefer to have the store to themselves,” he added.

Businesses waiting

However, Pamela Milliken, proprieter for Zaxby’s at 11636 Parkside Drive, said she wanted to wait at least two weeks. 

“We’re not comfortable,” she noted, adding she wanted to make sure the restaurant was compliant with all guidelines.

Sam Gordon, owner of Go Dance – Dance Studio. 1705 Schaeffer Road in West Knoxville, said his studio is not open yet. (Go Dance is a ballroom-style dance studio)

“We felt that, for one, it was a little too soon; and, two, because of our type of business there’s no way to social distance and social dance,” he added. “We took a survey of all of our clients, and they all said they would feel more comfortable waiting until June. So, we are currently hoping to open on June 1, depending on how things go between now and then.”