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Inside dining reopens at Judy’s Kitchen

Denise Roberts and Libby Wilhelm joke with a customer at Judy’s Kitchen in Cerro Gordo. The dining room reopened on Monday, June 29 for inside dining. Curbside pickup is still available. The restaurant is open Monday-Saturday 7 a.m.-8 p.m.

Staff Writer

Ever since mid-March Judy’s Kitchen in Cerro Gordo has been closed for dine in service. So, the only option for lovers of their delicious fried food was curbside pickup. They are still doing curbside pickup with contactless delivery, but if you are desperately wanting to get indoors to eat, now you can. Their hours are 7am-8pm Monday through Saturday.

Manager Denise Roberts stated curbside is still going strong, “They can come in and pick it up or we’ll take it to them. We have two parking spots reserved out there for that although that has been challenging.” She stated since the reopening of indoor dining business has picked up about 30% more than prior.

While dine is open, there will be no buffets for some time. “We haven’t determined buffet and salad bars yet. I think we want to wait a decent time, we want to have a comfort zone. Yes, people want it, but no buffets or salad bars right now. They can have all you can eat fried chicken on Wednesdays just like we have always done with the fish and that is you put in a reorder and it comes out of the kitchen.”

Roberts said that even through the closures, business continued as usual. She unfortunately had to lay off one individual temporarily, but that person has been called back to work. She thanks the community for the support. “Yes, we have had an increase but, our curbside was so supportive and I’d love to give a shoutout for those that did that. I can’t tell you how many times people said, we’re so glad you’re here, we just want you to stay open. The community support has always been awesome and we didn’t doubt that.”

According to Governor Pritzker’s Press release made available on June 22, “Indoor dining can reopen with groups of 10 or less, with tables spaced 6-feet apart in seated areas and with standing areas at no more than 25% of capacity.” Roberts states they have no issues with complying with. “Everyone distances themselves anyway.” showing the tables. She added that still a majority of their orders are pickup or curbside.

Dewitt-Piatt Health Department lists on their guidance page for restaurants reopening during the ongoing Covid-19 crisis which are basically as Roberts states normal protocol. “The protocol that you should always be doing is where it is at. You should always be sanitizing your tables correctly. We probably pay a little more attention to light switches and door handles. A little common sense goes a long way, and good practices too.” Adding, “The garden room is available for more social distancing if they don’t want to be in the main dining room.”

Workers were not wearing masks, but a few customers were when they came in to either dine in or grab food. A requirement for a mask is not listed on the Dewitt-Piatt County Health Department website for restaurant guidelines. However, it is still recommended by the CDC to wear a fabric mask to help prevent the spread when social distancing is not possible.

While the virus is still real and running rampant in some states, it is refreshing to see possibly all of the closures in Illinois might have been worth it. It is too early to tell, but it is nice to see restaurants able to reopen, students practicing sports, and of course seeing people in person. I highly recommend the McGilly from Judy’s Kitchen. I ordered one to go after speaking with Roberts. After the last four months, you the readers deserve some yummies and this one comes with bacon.

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