Restaurants start to reopen in Medellín, Sabaneta, Envigado and Rionegro with at least 28 restaurants reopening soon in a pilot of restaurants reopening with table service.

The 28 restaurants that are preparing to reopen with table services is a pilot project that has the authorization of the Antioquia Government.

The process for reopening restaurants has involved the Federación Nacional de Comerciantes (Fenalco) [National Federation of Merchants], multiple secretariats of the municipalities and the Gastronomic Tour of Antioquia.

Many restaurants in the Aburrá Valley are currently open but only provide domicilio (delivery) and/or take out service and they are closed for table service.

The date for all the restaurants to open with table service is not confirmed yet. The target was originally to reopen restaurants in Sabaneta, Envigado and Rionegro on July 1 according to Fenalco. But El Colombiano reported on that the restaurants did not open and were waiting for approval from the national government.

Also, El Colombiano reported that 12 restaurants in Medellín will reopen on Monday, July 6.

Entrance to San Carbon, which is a popular steakhouse in Medellín reopening on July 6

Entrance to San Carbon, which is a popular steakhouse in Medellín reopening on July 6

Which Restaurants Start to Reopen?

There are 12 restaurants reopening with table service in Medellín on July 6:

  1. 37 Park (Provenza)
  2. Asados Familia García (Robledo)
  3. Astor (Junín – El Centro)
  4. Crepes & Waffles (Laureles)
  5. El Cielo (Parque Lleras)
  6. Las Margaritas (La 70)
  7. Marmoleo (Poblado)
  8. McDonalds (Avenida Poblado)
  9. Mondongos (La 70)
  10. Palenque (San Javier)
  11. San Carbón (Palmas)
  12. Versalles (El Centro)
IBlack Pepper Steakhouse in Envigado will reopen

Black Pepper Steakhouse in Envigado will reopen

There are five restaurants reopening with table service in Envigado:

  1. Black Pepper Steakhouse
  2. Burro Pizzeria
  3. Don Alcides
  4. Palo Grande
  5. Sancho Paisa
Burro Pizzeria in Envigado will reopen

Burro Pizzeria in Envigado will reopen

We included Black Pepper Steakhouse and Burro Pizzeria in our list of the best restaurants in Envigado.

Catalán in Sabaneta will reopen

Catalán in Sabaneta will reopen

Five restaurants are reopening with table service in Sabaneta:

  1. Catalán
  2. Hamburguesas Óscar,
  3. Restaurante Alma Llanera
  4. Restaurante El Viejo John
  5. Restaurante La Extremadura
Restaurante El Viejo John in Sabaneta will reopen

Restaurante El Viejo John in Sabaneta will reopen

And there are at least six restaurants opening with table service in Rionegro area:

  1. Anitas in Llanogrande
  2. Arca in Parque Principal
  3. Blasón in barrio Porvenir
  4. Crepes & Waffles in Llanogrande
  5. Doña Rosa
  6. And one or more restaurants in the Centro Comercial San Nicolás in Rionegro.

Also, it is expected that other municipalities in the region will join the pilot of restaurants reopening with table service.

What Biosafety Protocols Will be Used?

This pilot opening of restaurants is authorized through decree 878 of 2020.

Mayors of municipalities, in coordination with the Ministry of the Interior, may authorize pilot plans in the establishments that provide food service, to provide attention to the public on site face-to-face or at the table, as long as the biosafety protocols issued by the Ministry of Health and Social Protection are followed.

Obviously face masks will be required for workers. Furthermore, additional measures for the sector will be implemented including the separation of a meter and a half (about 5 feet) of distance between tables to ensure social distancing, no payment with cash and no paper receipts/checks.

Medellín Mayor Daniel Quintero confirmed that during the pilot, restaurants can only be visited by people who live together and share the same environment on a daily basis, to avoid contact with others. Also, the mayor indicated that customers should have a reservation via telephone or Internet.

How Many Restaurants are in the Aburrá Valley?

Fenalco Antioquia reported there are 10,985 establishments that provide food service in the Aburrá Valley including restaurants, cafes and those that cater for events.

However, with a high degree of informality in this sector, the number could be 40,000, which is estimated would generate 130,000 direct jobs and contribute about 5 percent to the GDP of the Aburrá Valley.

Asociación Colombiana de la Industria Gastronómica (Acodres) estimates there are 90,000 establishments including restaurants, bakeries and cafes, of which only 17,000 are formal, generating about 500,000 jobs,

New York steak at Black Pepper Steakhouse, which is reopening, photo courtesy of Black Pepper

New York steak at Black Pepper Steakhouse, which is reopening, photo courtesy of Black Pepper

The Bottom Line: Restaurants Start to Reopen in Medellín, Sabaneta and Envigado in the Aburá Valley

In June, Medellín and the Aburrá Valley reopening shopping malls with thousands of shops. And in July, museums will start to reopen.

Many restaurants in Medellín and the Aburrá Valley are open but only provide domicilio (delivery) and/or take out service due to the coronavirus pandemic.

This new pilot of reopening restaurants with table service, will permit a return to more normality for restaurants. Restaurants will be able to offer table service as well as delivery and/or take out service.

If the pilot of restaurants reopening goes well, it is expected that many more restaurants will be permitted to reopen with table service.

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Editors note: updated on July 1 with information that the restaurants did not open as planned on July 1 and are waiting for approval from the national government.

Editors note: updated on July 5, 2020 to add information that 12 restaurants in Medellín will reopen with table service on July 6 as part of the pilot of restaurants reopening.

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