Social distancing and tensions at take out locations are a new reality
In a post shared on facebook's West Seattle Connection, a woman doing some food pickup for delivery shared an experience at a local restaurant that left her shaking. She asked to remain anonymous out of fear of reprisals. Westside Seattle has confirmed her identity but we won't divulge out of respect for her privacy. We also won't share her complete post but instead will share some excerpts.
The incident happened at the Bang Bar in the West Seattle Junction. The restaurant did respond to our request for comment and have in fact made changes. Their response follows below.
"I was picking up an order at Bang Bar on California Ave and their waiting area was quardened off by chairs and only about 5 feet by 3 feet wide and I waited 10 minutes myself to enter because there were already 2 people in there so when they both left at the same time, I went in to get my order and then literally 4 people crowded in progressively after me and I kept telling them to please wait outside and this huge hulking guy got in my face and kept yelling "where's my food" over and over and the staff just kept telling everybody their food would be out soon but they wouldn't tell people to wait outside so this guy got in my face just because I was first in line and breathed his foul, stinking hot breath all over me and just kept on saying "shut the f up bitch" over and over and the staff literally refused to tell anyone to wait outside."
I asked them 4 times to please make a sign or something to tell people only 2 should be in at a time or at least tell people to not crowd in and the 2 girls working both said they were too busy to make a sign and just shrugged it off. Then another guy came in and literally stumbled into me and I was like, whoa buddy, there's way too many people in here already and he kept saying "my food is ready" because he got an alert it was ready but I and 4 other people also had alerts that our food was ready, too. It was total chaos and people physically threatening each other and that one hulking guy literally lunged at me as he reached over to grab his bag of food and gestured like he was about to punch me in the head and then left but then he waited for me at his car just outside the door. I kept asking for the manager to come out to make a sign or intervene because they weren't observing the governor's mandate and these little girls running food back and forth said there was no manager there and just kept shrugging every time but yet didn't miss a beat in running food out with literally zero care about customers out there intimidating others and coughing and breathing all over each other."
Bang Bar responded:
As a small business in West Seattle we are very saddened by this incident that occurred last night during our dinner rush. In the past we have followed the CDC and social distance guidelines. The front of the restaurant was blocked off preventing customers to come in which could lead to cross contamination. No more than one customer would be in the area at the same time while they paid and picked up their food while the rest would wait outside 6 feet apart.
As everyone is dealing and adjusting to C19, we as a small business are trying our best to handle and deal with the circumstances as well. Which is why we have cleared the dining room for more customers to come inside and wait 6 feet apart to accommodate customers who prefer to wait inside. Hopefully this change will help smooth out the process for customers and third party drivers when coming into pick up food."
Many businesses are having to make changes and adapt to these new conditions from placing footsteps on the floor to indicate six foot separation to chalk marks on the sidewalk for the same purpose. Others have installed sneeze shields and have limited the number of people allowed inside a business at a time. These changes can lead to extra tension and annoynances as this story indicates. But Bang Bar responded by apologizing and making changes to attempt to prevent the problem from happening again. The new reality of take out/delivery only from our restaurants and the need to social distance is presenting new circumstances that some are handling better than others.
Bang Bar which opened in the Junction in 2011 quickly became a West Seattle favorite and brought a hotel style menu to the neighborhood. They've remained popular and as part of group of 11 restaurants remain among the most successful.
4750 California Ave SW
Seattle WA 98106