The Sun Lakes Restaurant reopened with 160 reservations for lunch and dinner on Friday, March 26.
Initially, the restaurant had planned to serve lunch and dinner on the veranda, but because of the cool spring temperatures the reopening was able to be held in-doors as a result of Riverside County moving into the less-restrictive red tier on March 17.
I spoke with Cherie Wood, the Director of our Food and Beverage Department who stated that 50 percent of the current restaurant staff are returning associates.
Carlos Peraza, our Sous Chef, has been with Sun Lakes for 20 years and is currently the acting executive chef.
A new executive chef will be hired after we are able to increase dining capacity and as banquets and other events open up.
Currently the restaurant has 12 tables, spaced per CDC and county guidelines, available for lunch and dinner with the maximum number of six patrons per table.
In addition to new and returning staff, I met Shannon Hanna who is the new restaurant manager.
Wood also told me that we can look forward to seeing Betty, the restaurant’s long-time daytime hostess, who plans to return sometime in the future.
On Monday, March 29, a new menu was introduced which will include three breakfast selections and all of the items on the menu will be available throughout the day.
The restaurant also features a daily special every day. The dining room will be open 7 days a week from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. and reservations are recommended.
Cocktails, wine and beer are available with in-room dining service.
The Atrium is also open, but is limited to a maximum of eight people and will be sat with two tables with four per table.
At this time, due to the guidelines, the tables cannot be combined or pushed together.
In addition to the dining room being open, curbside to go is still available seven days a week from 11:30 a.m. until 6 p.m.
Meal delivery is also available every day of the week with delivery times of 12 to 3 p.m. and 4 to 6 p.m.
Wood stated that “finding and hiring staff has been the biggest issue in the restaurant being able to successfully reopen.” Many restaurants in the area have also been hiring service staff to meet their increased needs and we are competing with them.
Wood is hopeful that they will be able to hire enough staff to be able to open the veranda for service on days when the weather is conducive to al fresco dining.
To make a reservation for the Sun Lakes Dining Room, call 769-6654. The same number can also be used to place an order for curb-side pickup as well as for delivery.