BRUNSWICK, ME – JUNE 17: As indoor dining opens up in southern Maine counties on Wednesday, regulars return to Brunswick Diner. From left, Dallas Staples, Luke Thiboutot and Jeff Desrosiers. Ben McCanna/Staff Photographer

SCARBOROUGH — Making constant changes has become a new normal for Jen Brenerman, co-owner of Dunstan Tap and Table, saying that even though navigation has been tricky, the outcome has been worth the struggle.

Expecting indoor seating to resume at the beginning of June, Brenerman said that she started preparations — only for them to be placed on hold as Cumberland, York, and Androscoggin Counties were not cleared to start serving customers inside as COVID-19 cases were too high.

Beginning June 17, after Gov. Janet Mills announced that restaurants in Cumberland County along with York and Androscoggin counties could implement indoor dining, while also following health and safety guidelines. Brenerman said that Dunstan Tap and Table, located at 6 Stewart Drive, Dunstan Crossing, has rearranged its indoor seating so that all tables are six feet apart.

“Tables don’t have anything on them,” she said. “I created sanitizing checklists. Everything’s single-use. We’re lucky because we have the space. We’re big enough to not lose too many tables.”

The restaurant is currently closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, Brenerman said.

Joe Christopher, owner of the Saltwater Grille on 231 Front St. in South Portland, said that the use of outdoor seating has made social distancing measures easier.


“With multiple indoor and outdoor dining spaces it’s easy to maintain proper social distancing at Saltwater Grille,” he said. “We have two outdoor decks, two private event spaces, and our normal indoor dining area. Even though we are far from our normal, full capacity we can still accommodate a good amount of people.”

He added that customers at the Salt Water Grille have also been happy with the “improved food and service.”

“Our staff has adjusted to working in masks at all times and we have been able to provide a clean, safe dining environment that goes above and beyond the protocols set forth by the state,” Christopher said.

Customers at Dunstan Tap and Table have also been happy with the changes and the ability to eat at one of their favorite places again, Brenerman said. The menu has also added pizza, which has been popular these past few weeks.

Dunstan Tap and Table also has set up a tent for outdoor seating, she said.

“It was stressful constantly having to make decisions and then you had to make new decisions,” she said. “I’m lucky that my husband and I have been together along with our chef and team.”

Although frustrating at times, the constant changes are understandable, Brenerman said. Keeping people safe and healthy is the most important component to everything.

“I have to give a shout out to our staff for being so understanding,” she said. “They show that they can do anything to help us. Just having them has been pretty amazing and we’re lucky.”

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