BULLHEAD CITY — Most local restaurants were pro-active in closing their dine-in options prior to being ordered to do so.

With positive test results in Mohave County, Gov. Doug Ducey’s executive order was extended to the county, shutting down on-site dining at all restaurants.

You would think that would take care of the rest. But not so fast.

Per Ducey’s Executive Order 2020-09, all Arizona restaurants in a county with a confirmed case must shut down access to on-site dining. This also forces the closure of gyms and fitness centers, bars and movie theaters. 

John Hassett, the owner of Firehouse, simply made a few more adjustments.

“At this time, we have closed our indoor dining and have moved everything outside,” Hassett said Wednesday. “You can still come in and order your meals or drinks, but then you move to the patio. We have it all separated per the recommendations, and have it all lined out.”

Firehouse is most known for their coffee drinks, but also has a wide selection of food available.

Black Bear Diner is taking it a step further. The manager, who would not identify herself other than by the name Carol, said that the restaurant is not closing its dining room until directed by the corporate office in California. Calls to the corporate spokesperson went unanswered.

The River Dog Grill has a different perspective on it. They are a restaurant, but also a bar. Owner Karyn Phillips said that River Dog had its dining room open as of Tuesday, but in accordance with the executive order, closed it Wednesday.

“We’re doing what we can,” said Phillips. “We’re doing all to-go orders. Carry-out, curbside pickup, that sort of thing.”

Phillips said River Dog Grill has been using, and will continue using, Postmates and Doordash for food deliveries, but is considering using her staff as a way of keeping them working.

“Today’s the first day,” Phillips explained, “so I’m going to be talking to my girls about doing deliveries, I’m not sure yet if they will want to do that, but we will see.”

Like the other restaurants, River Dog Grill will keep its same menu and continue running daily specials.

Those restaurants who had closed their dining areas prior Wednesday have noticed that although there has been a slowdown, it is certainly not as catastrophic as most would assume.

“Last week we decided it was coming, anyway,” said Mohave Steakhouse owner Jesse Godinez, “so we decided to just prepare for it. We’ve been gearing up for it. We’re going to do the best we can.”

Mohave Steakhouse, like many restaurants in the area, has been using Doordash and Postmates for food delivery, but also has had of its staff doing deliveries. The results have gone well and between that and curbside delivery, Mohave Steakhouse has survived thus far, Godinez said.

“The community has been great to us,” added Godinez. “Coming out and supporting us like this, we have to thank them.”

Perkins and Denny’s both closed their dining rooms prior to Wednesday and our doing curbside delivery as well as home deliveries as well.

In response to the executive order, the Arizona Restaurant Association has announced that from now until the end of the coronavirus closures, its has declared it Arizona Takeout Week. This has allowed the restaurants and diners to post their information on the initiative’s website to allow everyone around the state to get the restaurants’ information and menus.

“We appreciate and thank Gov. Ducey for his efforts in working with the restaurant industry to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus,” said Arizona Restaurant Association President/CEO Steve Chucri, in a prepared statement. “The Arizona restaurant family appreciates his work and that of all elected leaders in our state during this unparalleled time in our history.”

The project already has more than 100 restaurants participating; the ARA said it hopes to get many more of the state’s 10,000-plus restaurants to join in.

The initiative is free for restaurants and all are invited to email current menus and service hours to takeout@azrestaurant.org, while diners are encouraged to go to the official Arizona Takeout Week website at aztakeoutweek.com to learn more and start dining on the go.

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