Wilton restaurants reopen for outside dining

WILTON — A number of Wilton restaurants are up and running and have reopened for outside dining as part of Gov. Ned Lamont’s Phase 1 plan to reopen Connecticut.

A stroll around Wilton Center last Friday revealed the following restaurants open for outside seating: Cactus Rose, Marly’s, Craft 14, Bianco Rosso, Wilton Pizza, Red Rooster Pub, Tusk & Cup, and Connecticut Coffee & Grill.

Restaurants offering takeout and curbside service previously are still doing so. Hours at each restaurant vary. More information can be found by phone and on their websites.

The popular Italian eatery Aranci 67 hasn’t yet opened for outside dining but intends to do so next week, according to a worker who answered its phone.

Starbucks has a “Grab & Go” table outside for customers to pick up their orders, but does not have outdoor seating as of yet.

Both Little Pub and Naked Greens are unable to offer outside dining because their restaurants are located on busy Danbury Road/Route 7 and they do not have space for outside dining.

Little Pub is offering takeout and Naked Greens is expected to offer takeout in June.

Una Callanan and her daughter Terry D’Elisa were sitting outside at Connecticut Coffee & Grill enjoying “a little treat” following a walk around a nearby trail. Una would rather walk on the high school track, but that is booked solid into next week, according to the field monitor.

“I asked the first selectwoman why the track couldn’t be open a short time each day just for seniors. The trails can be bumpy,” she said.

To reopen, restaurants must follow increased sanitation protocols to prevent the spread of the coronavirus and to ensure for the safety of both workers and customers. Outdoor dining protocols include new signage, hand sanitizers, tables at least six feet apart, and contact-less payment. Staff must wear masks at all times, as well as customers, except when eating.

Restaurants also need a temporary permit from the town planner, requiring sign-offs from fire, health, building, police and zoning.

Marly’s is offering outside service from noon to 8 p.m., seven days a week. “When we first started doing the to-gos (takeout) things were a little slow, but the town has been wonderful to us,” said Patrick Fagan, assistant manager.

Over Memorial Day weekend, the turnout was good at Marly’s, and staff were able to flip their six tables out front two to three times a night. “We also had customers enjoying drinks at a few tables we have in the back of the restaurant,” Fagan said.

Business is going a bit slower at Red Rooster Pub, which is open from noon to 8 p.m. for outside dining. “We are doing OK,” said staffer Damir Bislimi, on behalf of owner Tony Ramadani.

In general, he said, many people are still scared when it comes to dining out, and workers have a lot of new rules to contend with they didn’t have before. “It’s weird to work this way, we look forward to inside dining again soon,” he said.