As the pandemic has forced a change in our accustomed ways of doing things, the restaurants, Airstream food trailers and cafes in Seaside have revamped their business models to address the concerns about safe food service. Seaside shut its merchants’ doors in March and April to quickly address the COVID-19 pandemic safety concerns, with the town taking aggressive steps to assure its merchants and staff that when the town reopened it would be done as safely as possible. Installing hand sanitizing stations throughout town and adding alfresco shopping, the town redesigned its layout. Since the merchants have adapted their business practices, Seaside looks a bit different than it has in past summers. The result has been a more efficient food service with convenient ordering options, shorter lines and more shaded outdoor seating. As always, Seaside’s Southern hospitality and fun vibe is still here.
As Seaside town leaders offer support and flexibility, each restaurant has designed its own system, with most offering online ordering. Some Seaside eateries have a QR code sign located in front of their building or Airstream. Getting your favorite foods in Seaside is made easy by scanning the QR code with your phone or going online to the restaurant’s website.
Famous for its award-winning barbecue, Barefoot B-B-Q still serves up its tender ribs and pulled-pork sandwiches, but with an updated dining experience. “Seaside has been ahead of the curve and gone above and beyond in this new atmosphere,” says Jenny Murphy, co-owner of Barefoot. Instead of waiting in line, which can be lengthy in peak tourist months, customers can order online by scanning the QR code posted in front of the Barefoot B-B-Q Airstream, pick up their food and enjoy a delicious rack of ribs with all the sides. Tables have been removed temporarily to encourage people to take their meals elsewhere, thus avoiding crowding. “As more restaurants across the nation are doing online ordering, and more people get comfortable with it,” Jenny adds, “I see that increasing.” Order Online (850) 534-0313.
Great Southern Café, known for its “new-fashioned Southern” cuisine, offers reservation or to-go dining, with a walk-up bar for to-go drinks and additional outdoor seating located at the Seaside Amphitheater. And you can still enjoy happy hour daily from 3-5 p.m. with half-price drinks and $11 raw oysters. Website; (850) 231-7327.
Jay and Liz Eichelberger, owners of Crêpes du Soliel and Cocina Cubana, had exclusively used in-person ordering prior to the new CDC guidelines. “It thrust us into doing online ordering, and it turned out to be for the better,” says Jay Eichelberger, who uses Toasttab.com, a restaurant point-of-sale and management system app.
Mr. Gyro Hero is a long-time favorite from the beloved Seaside Farmer's Market who opened on Airstream Row in the spring of 2020, just before the pandemic. They are best known for their gyros, but their Mediterranean menu offers a variety of dishes including vegetarian and kid friendly options. Online ordering has proved to be a swift way to gain new loyal customers.
You can learn more about Seaside Merchants and dining options by reviewing their online merchant directory.