Some Pier Park restaurants still open for business, despite confusion

Several Pier Park restaurants have signs outside their establishments welcoming customers to...
Several Pier Park restaurants have signs outside their establishments welcoming customers to order take-out. (WJHG/WECP)(WJHG)
Published: Apr. 1, 2020 at 9:01 PM CDT
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You’ll mostly find closed doors up and down Pier Park, except for some businesses.

Stephanie Lauderdale, owner Chicken Salad Chick, said, “I do think there has been some confusion. Pier park did put out an overall message that Simon Pproperties chose to close the mall. The retail businesses for the most part are shut down. Restaurants are trying the best they can to stay open and do a take-out menu.”

We reached out to Pier Park officials who would not comment on the new closure rules, but restaurant workers say take-out and online ordering doesn’t bring in the same kind of business as before.

“Majority of our orders have stopped. We’re down to probably 20% of our usual business,” said Lauderdale.

However, some local restaurants say confusion about what’s closed and what’s opened could be affecting the little bit of business they have left.

“Just going from a restaurant that we do a lot of seating to just take-out, it’s a totally different philosophy for us. There’s other venues that are… it’s a normal part of their life, and for us here it’s not,” said Jeremy Martin, General Manager of Margaritaville.

Still, restaurants are trying to make-do the best they can.

Lauderdale said, “It has been, you know, a little frustrating to not see the turnout that we’d like but we are opens guys. Please come see us.”

“I am a firm believer of all boats rise. So if you were to take care of the neighbor that neighbor then can take care of someone else. So please support any local company if you have dollar to be able to do it,” said Martin.

As part of his newest executive order, Governor Ron DeSantis is encouraging “all provide delivery, carry-out or curbside service…" when possible.

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