Local restaurants running hot, cold

As soon as the provincial health minister ordered restaurants to close their dining rooms and only offer takeout orders, White Goose Bistro turned to social media to encourage their customers to continue patronizing the establishment in a different way.

The response has been tremendous.

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The family-owned business has been successful for the last 14 years and has never experienced anything like this, Fallon Moreland said.

She believes their continued success is because they have reached out to people on Facebook to have a conversation about what customers would like to see on their menu.

Recently, The White Goose Bistro featured a full Greek menu that was a great success during a two-day event. For the next event, White Goose is considering a Mexican theme.

Still, it takes some getting used to not to have guests sitting in their establishment.

"I miss the interaction with customers," Moreland said. "I love talking to people, I love serving people and I love my job. This situation is a whole other experience."

It's all in the timing for fine dining, now there's no spacing needed to enjoy each courses. It's all served at once.

"There's a learning curve for sure but we're doing good though," Moreland said.

"We had to figure out a new way to do this to keep it going. We're doing what we can to keep the doors open and ride the wave until everything goes back to normal."

And Moreland believes people will flock back to restaurants when we're all past this pandemic.

"People are bored," Moreland said. "They will go back to their old routine after all this is done. It'll be like 'we're free!'"

On the flip side, Dragon Stone Mongolian Grill has been forced to shut its door permanently in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.

Owner Wendy Wedman opened the restaurant in 2015 after family members visited a Mongolian style restaurant in the States and then another in a different part of the province.

"I thought we needed to bring a healthy option like that to Prince George," Wedman said. "We jumped in with both feet." It was Wedman's first restaurant and her last.

"I won't be doing this again."

The decision to close was because there was no opportunity to social distance in the way the restaurant was designed.

"It was more so than even just a buffet," Wedman said. "Once you got your food you stood in line to watch it being made so it was a double line of not being able to physically distance yourself. The experts are saying this is going to go on for months and then the second wave is going to come in the fall and there will probably be restrictions throughout the summer and for our style of restaurant all the restrictions would have to be lifted before we could even being a viable option again."

Wedman said they just couldn't hold on for that long.

"So we made the decision that made the most sense," she said.

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