One of Seattle's fanciest restaurants turned into a drive-thru burger place amid the coronavirus outbreak - and restaurants around the country may soon take similar measures
Ashley Stewart/Business Insider
- Canlis - an award-winning restaurant in Seattle that usually serves $135 four-course meals - closed its dining room and created a drive-thru in its parking lot to serve $14 burgers amid the novel coronavirus outbreak.
- Restaurants around the country could soon be forced to make similar arrangements as local governments order dining rooms to close.
- My $14 burger tasted great, though the overall experience was a hassle.
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One of Seattle's fanciest restaurants has turned into a drive-thru burger place amid the novel coronavirus outbreak - and restaurants around the country could be forced to take similar measures as local governments order dining rooms to close.
Canlis - which typically serves four-course meals from a James Beard award-winning chef for $135 per person - closed its luxe dining room and started selling burgers through a makeshift drive-thru in its parking lot.
"Fine dining is not what Seattle needs right now," the restaurant's owners wrote on its website announcing the changes. "Instead, this is one idea for safely creating jobs for our employees while serving as much of our city as we can."
Abandoning menu items like rabbit sausage with grilled liver for burgers and veggie melts at lunch, Canlis also plans to offer bagels for breakfast and deliver "home-cooked" dinners and bottles of wine beginning Wednesday. Elsewhere in Seattle, other fine dining hotspots closed their doors entirely.
Restaurants around the country could soon be forced to make similar arrangements. On Monday, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee ordered restaurants - plus bars, coffee shops, and the like - to close on-site dining until March 31. New York City, San Francisco, and Los Angeles have already rolled out comparable measures.
I braved the lunchtime line on opening day. Here's what happened:
In place of its sprawling dining room with views of the water, Canlis hastily organized a drive-thru.
It wasn't the most convenient set up, in part because Canlis has what I imagine to be one of the worst spots in Seattle for a drive-thru restaurant.
Once I made it into the parking lot, I found more lines.
The food was inexpensive, considering what a Canlis meal usually costs.
Employees kept their distance.
Customers mostly stayed in their cars.
Employees wore single-use gloves to deliver food.
My order arrived about seven minutes after I placed it, passed through my window by a smiling Canlis worker.
My burger was delicious, though the experience was a hassle overall.
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