NewsPinellas County


Restaurants preparing for takeout and delivery-only scenarios in St. Pete, Tampa

More impacts in Bay area from COVID-19
Posted at 11:28 PM, Mar 16, 2020

The mayors of St. Petersburg and Tampa announced cutting the occupancy of restaurants to 50 percent starting Tuesday at noon.

However, restaurant owners say they aren’t near capacity either way.

“This is uncharted water for all of us... we are all in this together,” Thomas Sanborn President of 2Bhospitality that operates Stillwaters Tavern and BellaBrave in St. Petersburg told ABC Action News reporter Michael Paluska.

“We have to ride out the storm as long as we can,” Sanborn said. Sanborn is focusing in on to-go orders and delivery options.

“We have enough food on hand, and our vendors are ready to deliver when we want more delivery. So, we’ll serve as long as we can, as many people as we can, as long as we are allowed to do it. We won’t stop. Closing for us really isn’t an option. We have to do sales of some capacity to support our team support the staff support the business.”

The restaurant group supports more than 200 employees.


“No one is going to be safe from this,” Sunburn said. “So, our biggest concern is protecting our employees and protecting our guests right now.”

Poppo’s Taqueria on Central Avenue is preparing the same way.

“If worse comes to worst, we’ll just serve out the window and do to-go’s, online ordering or whatnot,” Josh Brownell the General Manager of Poppo’s said.


Brownell said even a few sales a day are better than no sales. They have about 10 hourly employees. A complete shutdown, something that hasn’t been announced, would cripple many restaurants and bars.

“Hopefully, they don’t shut us down completely that would be devastating obviously,” Brownell said.

A new last call for alcohol in St. Pete will be 9 p.m. until further notice.

Tampa restaurants are also cutting capacity by 50 percent starting at noon tomorrow, and restaurants open until 10 p.m.