Chesterfield Economic Development
May 15, 2020
CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, VA -- Governor Northam’s Executive Order 61, issued on May 8th, allows for many businesses in Chesterfield County to begin opening under Phase 1. We recognize that our business community wants to protect their employees and customers and resume operations as quickly but as safely as possible. To assist businesses as they navigate through the guidelines for reopening, Chesterfield Economic Development and the Chesterfield Chamber announce, “Let’s Take It Outside, Chesterfield.” “Let’s Take It Outside, Chesterfield” is an online tool to provide links for guidance to our business sectors on what is required for them to reopen and operate safely under CDC and Forward Virginia guidelines.
Phase 1 allows for restaurants to add outdoor seating to their service. It also allows for expanding temporary outdoor seating for those without existing outdoor dining or limited outdoor dining space. “Outdoor dining could provide some restaurants relief after they’ve been forced to remain closed, or offering only takeout or delivery options, for nearly two months,” said Danielle Fitz-Hugh, Chesterfield Chamber President and CEO. “I think it comes down to you’ve got to do something, and this is the first round of something, outdoor dining, and it can help some of our small businesses.”
“Let’s Take It Outside, Chesterfield” will be a quick access point for restaurants that are reopening within those guidelines for limited outdoor dining. Virginia ABC has laid out a process to allow alcohol service in temporary outdoor space if the establishment meets certain criteria. The locality is required to provide approval of the plan. “Let’s Take It Outside, Chesterfield” provides a direct link to the application for county approval and will have links to the ABC guidelines as well. The county application is designed to be simple and provide approval in a timely fashion. “We understand how anxious our food and beverage establishments are to open and welcome back customers and do so correctly and safely,” said Joe Casey, County Administrator. “Our community development team worked collaboratively to put in place a process that allows restaurants to move expeditiously to meet the ABC guidelines and begin to offer outdoor seating. “Let’s Take It Outside, Chesterfield” will help us quickly serve these businesses, even those businesses without existing outdoor dining or those that have limited outdoor seating currently.”
“Westchester Commons has the highest concentration of restaurants/eateries in Chesterfield County, and while most have remained open in one form or another, this new adaptation to creatively serving our dining customers is an excitingly cautious move to re-launch the economy in our area. Initially, our ‘new’ outdoor dining opportunities at Sedona Taphouse, Latitude Seafood Company and Plaza Azteca, all of whom will have their patios open, will have new dining areas adjacent to their restaurants, which will bring a refreshingly new look to their businesses. Even The Shaved Duck Restaurant and our new X-Golf will offer outdoor dining, where they wouldn’t usually have this opportunity for customers. We’re inviting Chesterfield County to ‘take it outside,’ and we appreciate the support and patience, as we all evolve into Phase I and beyond,” said Mark Bowen, Marketing & Operations Manager, Westchester Commons.
“We are excited to once again welcome guests to our Capital Ale House and Fest Biergarten restaurants. We are prepared to meet the safety and sanitation needs of our staff and guests and look forward to brighter days ahead for all,” said Matt Simmons, President, Capital Ale House and Fest Biergarten.
Forward Virginia provides general guidelines for business and also has information on industry-specific guidelines such as requirements for religious services, fitness and exercise facilities, and personal care and grooming services.
“As we continue to move toward more normalized activity, we will continue to work collaboratively with business, citizens and government to be creative in how we support business through the reopening process and work hard to remove obstacles to their successful path forward,” said Leslie Haley, Board of Supervisors Chair.