After three months, Berkeley restaurateur welcomes customers back for outdoor dining

Switching from dine in to take out service was a huge transition for Berkeley restaurateur, Dorothèe Mitrani, “It was literally shifting gears, like you’re going 100 mph on a freeway and suddenly you have to go uphill in a rocky terrain,” she said.

After three months, the owner of La Note finally got to welcome back customers for outdoor dining.

“We are so excited to be opening the patio,” said Mitrani.

She got the green light to reopen after Alameda County and the city of Berkeley, which has its own health department issued new parallel health orders that went into effect on Friday, June 19.

The orders allow the reopening of outdoor museums, limited religious services, indoor and outdoor shopping including malls, outdoor fitness classes and of course outdoor restaurant dining with modifications.

Mitrani said, “We have done everything according to recommendations to make your environment safe and pleasant.”

Changes at La Note include disinfecting tables between customers, using compostable plates and silverware, spacing out tables and allowing online reservations through Yelp, “We’re encouraging people to sign up from home so they can get an estimate of when their table is ready so they don’t have to wait here or they can come here, put their name on the list, go for a walk, wait in their car and we will let them know when their table is ready.”

Despite loosened shelter in place restrictions, health experts warn coronavirus is still out there and isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. They recommend staying home as much as possible, washing your hands, maintaining distance and wearing a mask.

Alameda County said the number of coronavirus hospitalizations has stabilized in the last two weeks and they’re testing more people every day. The city of Berkeley said coronavirus is still a threat to everyone in the community regardless of age.

Life isn’t back to normal yet, but this is an exciting step for Mitrani, “We’re still not completely back to what we completely were but this is a huge, huge deal.”