When Covid-19 closed restaurants like North Ridgeville’s Bistro 83, a perennial winner in several categories including Best Restaurant, proprietors were forced to pivot and plan for a safe opening. “We pretty much redesigned our entire layout,” says Anthony Martorello, general manager, explaining that one-third of the seating was removed. Plexiglass was installed between tables to partition off dining spaces, and the bistro hired a dedicated sanitation employee to clean surfaces and commonly-touched areas like doorknobs and chair backs.

“We set up a to-go station with a separate door and partitioned-off area for our curbside pickup,” Martorello adds. Although take-out was a fraction of Bistro 83’s overall business before COVID-19, now it’s about one-third of sales. 

Family take-out and weekend specials are keeping the Bistro 83 kitchen busy. “Our regulars have all supported us, whether they are coming into the restaurant to eat or getting carry out,” Martorello says. “They’ve helped us come back as opposed to closing down.”