GREENSBORO, N.C. — Tate Street Coffee House will reopen this weekend after the owner closed the shop’s doors four months ago.
Owner Matthew Russ explained that during the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, he didn’t feel comfortable serving customers without taking the proper precautions.
“It’s almost like starting all over again,” Russ said, explaining that the coffeehouse’s thirty year history near UNCG.
He and his staff launched a new app and online ordering service for contact-free pickup. Russ also added plexiglass barriers at the counter, moved tables and mapped out lines with tape on the floor.
“We took out what used to be a really popular seat. What used to be a platform up in the window there is now an open area…that you can come in and feel like you’re not really cramped,” pointing to the front of the shop.
“We try our hardest to make this a spot for community, which is especially difficult given the circumstances,” said Austin Jeffries, one of Russ’ employees.
Russ said he was able to bring back all 15 staff members following the closure.
“I was out of work for three months. It’s a huge relief to have income,” Jeffries said.
Staff members met Friday morning to discuss new cleaning procedures and face covering requirements ahead of the Saturday opening.
“Truthfully, a little nervous just for the fact that there are so many things that are different,” Jeffries said.
“At least we know tomorrow we’re going to open and start serving the public again, which is exciting. That’s what we do. That’s what we’re here for. That’s what we’ve been successful at,” Russ said.
Tate Street Coffee House opens Saturday at 6:30 a.m.