Two of the three Cody’s Original Roadhouse locations in The Villages are preparing to reopen Wednesday amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Owner/operator Allen Musikantow said the restaurants in Lake Sumter Landing and Brownwood will reopen at 11 a.m. after being closed since March 20 when the pandemic was first sweeping across the nation. He said the Mulberry Grove location will remain closed for now.
Dean Turner, who serves as director of operations for the local Cody’s, said customers will find a remodeled eatery in Lake Sumter Landing that’s been freshened up and improved. He said some of those improvements include taking down a shed over the bar, better placement of televisions and new flooring in the bar area and restrooms that are now completely touchless.
Turner said the restaurants also have undergone deep cleanings from top to bottom, from the dining room to the kitchen area. He said many different measures to protect customers have been put in place, from heavy sanitizing of everything in the restaurant to Plexiglass-type barriers between the booths to replacing cloth seatbacks in those booths with vinyl that easily can be sanitized throughout the day and night.
“We’re going to go above and beyond what the CDC asks for,” he said.
Musikantow said the restaurants also will offer customers Cody’s full menu instead of scaling back as some eateries have done amid the pandemic.
“In the restaurants that I’ve been to, I’ve been really disappointed because they’re not picking my favorite choices,” he said. “Here, they’ll have the choice of the whole menu.”
Cody’s customers still will be able to enjoy peanuts – a staple of the restaurants. But
Musikantow said they will be provided in sealed bags instead of being out in the open on tables.
Turner said the safety measures that have been put in place are to protect both his customers and employees who will come in contact with more than 100 people per day. He said hand sanitizer will be available throughout the restaurants and every customer will be handed a sealed sanitizing wipe after they are seated.
Turner said front-of-the-house employees and vendors will be required to wear masks at all times, while those working in the kitchen will wear protective gloves. All employees and vendors will have their temperatures taken when they come into the buildings. And all employees will be required to fill out a short questionnaire on the computer system before they can begin working, Turner added.
Musikantow said a great deal of thought has gone into the safety procedures in place prior to reopening and he feels quite confident his staff is ready to go.
“I’m not a doctor; I’m a restauranteur,” he said. “So we’ve looked at what people have done and tried to take everything that we can execute. I think we’ve got the most complete package of safety and I think we and The Villages will be fine.”
The Lake Sumter Landing and Brownwood Cody’s locations will open at 11 a.m. Wednesday. The eateries’ new hours will be 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Live entertainment will continue to perform at the restaurants.