Atlantic City casino restaurants prepare for Sept. 4 reopening date

Restaurants in Atlantic City’s casinos are gearing up to resume indoor dining this Friday.

News 12 Staff

Sep 2, 2020, 1:15 AM

Updated 1,330 days ago

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Restaurants in Atlantic City’s casinos are gearing up to resume indoor dining this Friday.
Casinos were able to reopen at the beginning of July, but without indoor eating or drinking. But now that indoor dining can resume, many employees are heading back to work.
Jacqueline Schiavo has worked in the casino industry for 35 years, currently bartending at the Hard Rock Casino. She says that nothing could have prepared her for what the last six months had in store.
“I worked on March 17 and I’m telling people that they have to leave and it was very eerie, just very scary not knowing when we were going to come back to our job,” she says.
But now Schiavo and thousands of other workers will head back to work. UNITE HERE 54, the union representing about 10,000 casino workers, estimates that about 70% of its members will return to work when indoor dining resumes on Friday.
At Cuba Libre inside the Tropicana, restaurant workers are reading ready for the reopening.
“It would’ve been nice to have maybe a little more than four days’ notice,” says general manager Charlie Mulson. “We are a scratch kitchen and all of our dishes are prepared by scratch and all of our bar items are prepared by scratch. So getting a hold of the staff, getting them back in here and preparing all the food is now a race to get that done by Friday."
Cuba Libre’s cleaning manual is 66 pages long, including new jobs and new responsibilities to protect the public from COVID-19.
“We have a greeter at the front who whose full job is just to be taking guests’ temperatures and asking them questionnaires. We have what we call a ‘disinfectador.’ This person, their whole job is just to disinfect while dining is happening. Before and after so every table and chair will be disinfected between use and any hot-touched areas will be disinfected every 15 minutes,” says Mulson.
Restaurants will have to have 25% capacity and social distancing among diners.


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