BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Seven months after shutting down due to the coronavirus pandemic, Birmingham Chef Chris Hastings is reopening Hot and Hot Fish Club and Ovenbird.
Hastings' restaurants, both in Pepper Place, will reopen Oct. 7 following CDC COVID-19 guidelines, including social distancing and wearing masks when not eating.
“Safety is first, dollars second” says Hastings. “We know we can manage dollars, but the dollars won’t matter if we don’t manage safety and health for our team our customers and our community.” Hastings says he has also had the restaurant’s ventilation system modified to push in as much fresh air through the space as the HVAC system can handle.
While the restaurants have closed, Hastings says he and his team have been doing online cooking classes and a building a food manufacturing business, which will operate in the restaurants on days they are not seating diners.
Hastings says seeing the community take mask-wearing more seriously in Birmingham has given him confidence he can re-open safely. “We’re very encouraged about behavior,” says Hastings, “and hope that everybody will come out and have fun and enjoy being with us in a safe environment.”