After Gov. John Carney’s ban on dine-in service at restaurants and bars, which went into effect earlier this week, area businesses are navigating the “new normal” in an effort to continue to serve their customers while keeping the customers and their employees safe.

Since the announcement comes at a time of year when eateries in the beach resorts are getting ready to reopen for the summer season, some owners have had to wrestle with the question of whether to open and offer carry-out and/or delivery or remain closed for at least the near future.

Others that stay open throughout the year, either full-time or part-time, are also struggling to figure out what works best for them. Either way, the dine-in ban came on what is normally a busy week as many prepared for St. Patrick’s Day crowds that never came — as the ban was announced March 16.

“It’s devastating,” said Dana Banks, owner of The Parkway restaurant in Bethany Beach.

“You go week-to-week this time of year,” often taking weather and other factors into consideration regarding when to open back up and offer full dining service, she said. The timing of the Easter holiday often plays a part, as well.

Banks, who has owned The Parkway for 23 years, said she does not believe this will be a short-term ban.

“I don’t think two weeks is going to be it,” she said.

The impact on the area economy is likely to be major.

“Employees are unemployed,” she said. “I can’t pay them,” if there’s little or no income for the restaurant. “That’s very frustrating.”

While she’s concerned about her business, Banks said she also has more basic worries, just like everyone else who is struggling to function in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and the precautions against it. “I’m also concerned about me and my family and my employees getting food,” she said.

In the days leading up to Carney’s announcement, many businesses, including restaurants and bars, reached out to their customers via email and social media, reassuring them that they were taking every precaution to ensure customers’ safety.

They also urged customers to stay home if they felt the slightest bit ill.

Just four days before being forced to close dining services, Josh Grapski of La Vida Hospitality Group outlined procedures his businesses, including Crooked Hammock Brewery in Lewes, had instituted to ensure the safety of customers and employees.

“Over the past weeks we have instituted strict procedures in our restaurants, including the regular and frequent sanitation of all tables, chairs, bar tops, bathrooms, door handles, knobs and other areas where germs are most likely to be transmitted from person to person,” Grapski said.

Even before Carney’s announcement, restaurants had started to feel the impact of the spread of COVID-19 as the holiday weekend began. At the Cottage Café in Bethany Beach on Friday, March 13, popular entertainer Frank Raines, who performs as “Elvis, Frank & Raines” in local eateries, looked out over a bar area that was not nearly as full as it normally is at the start of the mid-March St. Patrick’s weekend.

By Tuesday, Cottage Café owner Brent Poffenberger took to Facebook Live to greet customers and let them know that St. Patrick’s Day fare would be available for carry-out, posting an update later that the restaurant was out of corned beef but still had other menu items available.

Banks said the ban would have a huge impact on eateries of all sizes as days stretch into weeks and spring moves toward the summer season.

“This has never happened in my lifetime,” she said, adding that the unknowns are what make things so hard right now.

Kristina Malone, who opened Kristina’s Kitchen in Millville barely a month ago, acknowledged that her “grab-and-go” concept, with no dine-in service available, gives her a bit of an advantage in the face of the new regulations.

“I’m really trying to stay super-positive,” Malone said. “People are just kind of in a little bit of a panic,” in trying to deal with restrictions imposed as the virus spreads.

She said she has experience with delivering food from earlier business ventures and had offered it as an option at Kristina’s Kitchen even before the dining ban. She hoped that the “buzz” around her new business would continue through the coming weeks and possibly months as people stay in their homes more.

“The fear is what’s going to hurt us,” Malone said. “We have a lot going for us. It’s just that people want to stay inside.”

Carney on Wednesday afternoon issued a second update to the emergency declaration, aimed at offering some support for restaurants. The revised declaration allows any restaurant, brewpub, tavern or taproom with a valid on-premise license to sell alcoholic beverages as part of transactions for take-out food, delivery or drive through food service.

Alcohol sales cannot exceed 40 percent of the total sales transaction, and all other rules and regulations regarding the take-out of alcoholic beverages apply, including that containers must be securely closed. Alcoholic beverages cannot be consumed on-site, neither indoors nor outdoors. The policy was to go into effect at 8 p.m. on March 18, and will last until the State of Emergency is rescinded, Carney said.

For an updated list of area restaurants that are open and providing carry-out service and/or delivery, check the food section of the Coastal Point website at Restaurant owners can update the list by providing their information via an online form.

Local restaurants offering carry-out, delivery

Editor's note: With the mandated closure to the public of all restaurants and bars in the state, except for carry-out, drive-through and delivery services, we are compiling a listing of which restaurants are remaining open to provide those services and the details involved. Restaurants that wish to be part of that listing can submit their information here. This list will continue to be updated throughout the closure, as information is submitted by local restaurants. Don't see a favorite restaurant? If they're open, ask them to come fill out the form, and we'll add them.

Restaurant Address City Phone Fax Email Website Hours of operation Services Delivery Fee 3rd Party Delivery Order By Full/limited menu Payment accepted Contactless delivery?
99 Sea Level 99 Hollywood St Bethany Beach (302) 539-0299 Open 7 days 12pm-8pm Carryout Telephone,In person Full menu Cash,Credit card No
Al Casapulla's Subs, Steaks & Pizza Route 26 Millville (302) 539-5488 Mon thru Sat 11-8 Carryout In person Full menu Credit card No
Applebee's 36501 Seaside Outlet Blvd Rehoboth Beach (302) 226-5307 Everyday 12-8 Curbside,Delivery by thirdparty service Telephone,Website,App Limited menu Credit card,Mobile or online payment No
Bethany Blues BBQ 6 N Pennsylvania Ave Bethany Beach (302) 537-1500 7 days a week 12-8pm Carryout,Curbside,Delivery by staff 3 Telephone,Website,App,In person Full menu Cash,Credit card Yes
Big Fish Market 20312 Coastal Highway Rehoboth Beach (302) 227-3665 Sun-Thurs 11:30am-7pm; Fri & Sat 11:30am-8pm Carryout,Curbside Telephone,Website Full menu Cash,Credit card,Mobile or online payment No
Bluecoast Bethany 30904 Coastal Hwy Bethany Beach (302) 539-7111 Daily 4-8PM Carryout,Curbside Telephone Full menu Cash,Credit card No
The Blue Crab 210 Garfield Parkway Bethany Beach (302) 537-4700 Daily, noon to 7 p.m. Curbside Telephone,Website Limited Menu Cash,Credit card,Mobile or online payment No
CoCoLo Sushi 776 Garfield Parkway Bethany Beach (302) 829-8784 Open at 4:30 p.m. Carryout Telephone Full menu Cash,Credit card No
The Cottage Cafe 33034 Coastal Highway Bethany Beach (302) 539-8710 Noon to 8 p.m. Carryout,Curbside Telephone,Website Full menu Cash,Credit card No
Cove Bar & Grille 31806 Lakeview Drive Selbyville (302) 436-3200 M-Su, 12pm-8pm Carryout,Curbside,Delivery by thirdparty service Telephone Limited menu Credit card No
Cracker Barrel 19550 Coastal Hwy Rehoboth Beach (302) 226-8993 (302) 226-8995 8am to 8pm Carryout,Curbside,Delivery by thirdparty service Olo, Door dash, Website,App,Fax,In person Limited menu Cash,Credit card,Personal check,Mobile or online payment No
The Den at Bear Trap Dunes 7 Clubhouse Drive Ocean View (302) 537-5600 M-Su, 11 am-8pm Carryout Telephone Limited menu Cash,Credit card No
Fenwick Crabhouse 100 Coastal Highway, #7 Fenwick Island (302) 539-2500 Call in by Wednesday at noon to pick up crabcakes on Friday Carryout Telephone Limited menu Cash No
FINS Ale House Bethany Beach 33544 Market Place Bethany Beach (302) 539-3467 Wednesday-Sunday 1130am-8pm Carryout,Curbside,Delivery by staff Telephone Full menu Cash,Credit card No
Fox's Pizza, Millville Rt. 26, Giant Shopping Center Millville (302) 539-6900 7 Days Carryout,Curbside,Delivery by staff 1.5 Telephone Full menu Cash,Credit card No
Good Earth Market & Restaurant 31806 Good Earth Ln, Ocean View (302) 537-7100 7 days 9am to 9pm Carryout,Curbside,Delivery by staff 5 Telephone Full menu Cash,Credit card No
Harpoon Hanna's 39064 Harpoon Road Fenwick Island (302) 539-3095 Sunday through Thursday 11am-8pm, Friday & Saturday 11am-9pm Carryout,Curbside Telephone,In person Limited menu Cash,Credit card No
Hooked Up Ale House & Raw Bar 38069 Town Center Drive Millville (302) 539-4111 11 am-8 pm Carryout,Curbside Telephone Full menu Cash,Credit card No
Long Neck Deli 32362 Longneck Rd Millsboro (302) 945-7575 Monday- Sunday. 10-6 Carryout Telephone Full menu Cash,Credit card No
The Landing Bar & Grille 20301 Charlotte Blvd Millsboro (302) 933-8072 Mon-Sunday 12-6pm Curbside Telephone Limited menu Credit card No
Matt's Fish Camp Bethany 28635 Coastal Hwy Bethany Beach (302) 539-2267 Daily 11:30am-8pm Carryout,Curbside Telephone,Website Full menu Cash,Credit card,Mobile or online payment No
McCabe's Gourmet Market 34444 Coastal Highway, Unit 1 South Bethany (302) 539-8550 (302) 539-0270 Closed Monday. Tuesday - Thursday: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Friday - Saturday: 7 a.m. - 5 p.m. Sunday: 7 a.m. - 4 p.m. Carryout Telephone,In person Full menu Cash,Credit card,Personal check No
Morning Buns Bake Shop 68 Atlantic Avenue Ocean View (302) 307-2917 Thursday - Tuesday 7am-12pm closed Wednesday Carryout Telephone Full menu Cash,Credit card,Mobile or online payment No
Northeast Seafood Kitchen 29F Atlantic Avenue Ocean View (302) 537-1785 Daily 4-8PM Carryout,Curbside Telephone Full menu Cash,Credit card No
Ocean View Family Restaurant 42 Atlantic Ave Ocean View (302) 539-4864 Sun 7-2, Mon-Wed 7-2, Thur-Sat 7-7 Carryout,Delivery by staff Telephone,In person Full menu Cash,Credit card No
Off the Hook 769 Garfield Pkwy Bethany Beach (302) 829-1424 11 am-8 pm Carryout,Curbside Telephone Limited menu Cash,Credit card No
Perucci's Classic Italian Restaurant 35507 Atlantic Avenue Millville (302) 828-8727 Sunday - Saturday 5pm-8pm Carryout Door Dash Telephone,In person Full menu Cash,Credit card No
Ropewalk Bethany Beach 107 Garfield Pkwy Bethany Beach (302) 537-1330 Friday-Sunday 12-10 Curbside Telephone Full menu Cash,Credit card No
The Salted Rim 27 Atlantic Avenue Ocean View (302) 537-7373 11:00am - 8:00pm Carryout Telephone Full menu Credit card No
Smitty McGee's Restaurant 37234 Lighthouse Road West Fenwick (302) 436-4716 (302) 436-6031 11am to 8pm Carryout,Curbside Telephone Full menu Cash,Credit card No
Summer Salts Beach Grill 33548 Market Place Bethany Beach (302) 581-0423 Daily, noon to 9 p.m. Carryout,Curbside,Delivery by staff Telephone,In person Full menu Cash,Credit card No
Sunshine Crepes 100 Garfield Parkway Bethany Beach (302) 537-1765 Saturday and Sunday 8:30am-2pm, Carryout Telephone,In person Full menu Cash,Credit card No

Staff Reporter

Kerin majored in journalism at Ohio University and has worked as an editor and reporter for monthly, daily and weekly publications in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Delaware since 1983. A native of Baltimore, Md., she has lived in Ocean View since 1996.