UPDATE: Blackwall Hitch sent out an update regarding the opening in Eastport:
While Governor Hogan’s Executive Order allows for outdoor dining across the state, he has allowed each County Executive to make the final decision for his/her County. As of yet, County Executive Pitman has not made that decision and we are awaiting word.
For now, we are moving forward under the assumption that County Executive Pitman understands the importance of getting small business back open, putting residents back to work and allowing the residents of this county to make responsible decisions for what is best for them and their families and re-open restaurants for outdoor dining.
In response to Governor Hogan’s announcement earlier today, the Blackwall Hitch at the corner of 6th Street and Severn Avenue in Eastport has announced their re-opening on Friday evening.
In an email sent to their customers, the eatery detailed all of the health and safety protocols being implemented and also highlighted operational changes as well.
The moment we received the news, we began our preparations for Friday’s opening. We are designing our outdoor dining spaces, sourcing food and alcohol, re-hiring staff and training our employees on best practices in sanitation and hygiene.
Over the past 8 weeks, we have been getting ready for this moment! We have re-finished our hardwood floors, re-painted each dining room, cleaned every lightbulb and detailed every corner of the establishment from the kitchen ovens to the bathroom sinks. We have completely sanitized the restaurant and we have implemented new COVID-19 policies and procedures. Some of these policies include but are not limited to
- Taking the temperature of every employee that arrives to work
- Mandating that all employees where face-masks
- Mandated that all employees wash their hands every 15 minutes
- Mandated that all employees use gloves when handling food, beverages, plates, silverware, etc.
- Moved to disposable menus and digital menus that can be viewed from your own personal devices
- Placed all seats and tables 6-8 feet apart
- Adopted new sanitation and cleaning procedures throughout the facility every 30 minutes
- Held extensive training sessions for all of our employees and vendors
We firmly believe that upon arriving at our establishment, you will instantly feel that you are in a safe, clean and sanitized environment and will be able to relax and enjoy an evening out with friends and family, that we all so desperately need.
Our mission has been elevated from providing to top quality, locally sourced food in a memorable environment to doing so in the cleanest and safest environment in the state! We are driven by this goal and we believe you will quickly see our dedication to this mission.
COVID-19 has had a devastating effect on our business and our employees and while we firmly believe that we will get back on our feet, we are realistic and realize that it will take months if not years for us to fully recover.
Beginning at 5PM on Thursday May 28th, we will begin our “reservation only” policy. We have decided to adopt a reservation only policy for several reasons.
- This will assist our kitchen team, management and front of the house staff in preparing for the volume of guests at any one time. From ordering food and supplies, to scheduling staff, this will greatly assist our operational execution
- This will ensure that we do not have masses of people arriving at one time making social distancing nearly impossible with a crowded hostess stand at peak hours.
- This will ensure that we are able to deliver exceptional service to each customer that we pride ourselves on.
- This will ensure that we can fill as many seats as legally and safely allowed to start recouping some of our losses and help us to maximize our seating capacity (which is severely limited under these regulations).
We are hopeful that our guests that make reservations will honor those reservations. The worst possible thing for our business would be to hold tables for guests, turn away other interested parties and have those seats sit empty all evening. If you make a reservation, PLEASE HONOR IT. Our staff has been through enough over the past two months, forcing them to come back to work to watch an empty table in their section will be devastating to their morale and more importantly to their personal finances. If this becomes an issue, we will quickly move to a reservation policy where credit cards are taken to reserve seats and a “No-show” fee will be charged for each guest that does not show up. We are extremely hopeful that we do not have to implement that policy as it will create more administrative work for our staff and become a nuisance for our guests.
We are extremely excited to get back to doing what we do best, serve you! Please consider making a reservation and supporting a local small business that depends on your support for our survival. We look forward to seeing you all again very soon!