Front end manager manager Kelsey Baird said the downtown Fort Walton restaurant will not have indoor seating for the immediate future. Patrons can order and grab drinks from inside, but they are asked to sit outside. Guests are also encouraged to take orders to go.

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While some restaurants have already closed, others are taking measures to stay open despite the unfolding COVID-19 crisis.


AJ’s Seafood & Oyster Bar, one of the restaurants that chose to stay open, found ways to follow state guidelines, while still "providing a dining experience" for patrons, according to a press release they sent out Wednesday night.


Staff members at AJ’s spread out tables and removed the bar stools to promote social distancing, said Rachel Green, who is in charge of events and promotions. Removing the bar stools will prevent congregating at the bars, she said.


Green said they also disinfected everything and that their restaurants will now feature hand sanitizer stations as well. Patrons that want to avoid dining in can grab curbside pickup, the release said.


The restaurant also switched to disposable silverware, cups and straws. All staff members will be screened before being allowed to work.


Another restaurant weathering the storm is the Fort Walton Beach Burrito del Sol.


Front end manager manager Kelsey Baird said the downtown Fort Walton restaurant will not have indoor seating for the immediate future. Patrons can order and grab drinks from inside, but they are asked to sit outside. Guests are also encouraged to take orders to go.


Along with closing the dining room, Burito del Sol staff disinfected everything in their restaurant. Sauces are now individually packaged.


Baird said safety of staff members and patrons are the top priority for Burrito del Sol.


The Destin Burrito del Sol restaurant shut down for the coming weeks due to the coronavirus.


Sonny’s BBQ, a chain restaurant with a Fort Walton Beach location, will continue to operate, according to Susan Brady, director of marketing for ACG BBQ LCC, franchisee of Sonny’s Real Bar-B-Q.


The restaurant is eliminating dining room seating in all locations beginning Friday. The BBQ joint, known for its family feast meal, said the restaurant will continue their drive-through and curbside food services.


The restaurant is also eliminating some of their menu items to create more efficiency at the drive through.


Sonny’s will also be continuing to deliver through GrubHub, UberEats, DoorDash and MyTownToGo.


How is your restaurant or business weathering the storm? Email Staff Writer Erin Franczak at efranczak@nwfdailynews.com with updates for possible publication.