Mainstreet Daily News, in a collaboration with Noel Leroux, founder of Gainesville Downtown, is spotlighting downtown businesses to learn how each one is coping with the ever-evolving COVID-19 situation.
It’s not unusual for Dragonfly Sushi & Sake Company, 201 SE 2nd Ave., to be teeming with 600 to 800 patrons on a normal Friday or Saturday night. But, due to the coronavirus, these are far-from-normal times.
The popular, 175-seat restaurant in Union Street Station was open on Saturday but only through a makeshift takeout window. Online orders can be placed at dragonflyrestaurants.com and picked up curbside. The phone number is 352.371.3359.
Customers can order from Dragonfly’s full food menu that includes sushi rolls, sashimi, hosomaki, kimchi and more. Beer, wine and sake are also available for takeout. As of this weekend, the restaurant also has a selection of six house cocktails to-go in vacuum-sealed plastic bags. They are $11 each and two for $20. (All you have to do at home is pour the contents in a glass over ice.)
“It’s a blessing the governor has let us do that,” said Dave Piasecki, Dragonfly’s general manager, adding that the restaurant expects to add a delivery service within a few days. “The response has been great.”
The takeout window is now open from 4-9 p.m., but the restaurant will likely open for lunch on weekdays at 11 a.m. Piasecki is operating with a small staff after letting 55 employees go.
“That was the best way for them to claim unemployment benefits,” he said. “We’d been watching the news and we knew it was coming. Everybody’s going through the same thing.”
Piasecki added that he wouldn’t be surprised if it takes at least another two months before things return to normal. “Until then, we’re going to do whatever the county health department, CDC and state tell us to do,” he said.
Noel Leroux is the publisher of gainesvilledowntown.com, a website dedicated to covering all things downtown. His mission is to inform, entertain and engage readers with compelling articles about arts, entertainment, and the foodie scene in Gainesville.