PHOTOS: With Masks And Plastic Shields Ready, Arizona Businesses Reopen

hand sanitizer and sign selling masks for $2

By Jessica Swarner

May 12, 2020

Here’s what some Arizona businesses that have reopened look like now.

Hair and nail salons, barbershops, retailers, and restaurants can now reopen after Gov. Doug Ducey eased restrictions starting Friday – but that doesn’t mean things are back to normal. 

Businesses must comply with social distancing and hygienic guidelines resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic in order to operate, which include spacing tables and customers at least six feet apart and maintaining a rigorous cleaning and sanitizing schedule. 

However, that didn’t stop patrons from arriving to these restaurants in groups and hugging in parking lots, although that is still not recommended.

Overall, business owners can’t control how Arizonan practice social distancing outside of their establishments, but they have put measures in place to try to keep things under control under their roofs.

Here’s what some businesses that have reopened look like now: 

Tee Pee Mexican Food 

This longstanding Mexican restaurant in Phoenix opened for dine-in Monday, the first day restaurants could bring in customers for more than takeout and delivery. 

Manager Simon Rodriquez said he and his staff were very happy to be back. 

“We had almost two months with only to-gos,” Rodriguez said. “It’s been hard.” 

Precautions they had to take include placing six-foot distancing markers on the ground, seating customers at every other table, separating barstools, having servers wear masks, and more. 

Herbal Nails And Spa

This nail salon opened for business Friday and has had back-to-back appointments since. 

Owner Beana Tran said all employees and customers are required to wear masks. And if customers don’t have a mask, they can buy one for $2 at the door. 

Clients getting pedicures and manicures are spaced apart every other chair, and manicure techs paint nails from behind a plastic shield. Stations are wiped down and sanitized between each visit while clients wait in their car until it’s their appointment time. 


Gadzooks Enchiladas and Soup opened its Arcadia location for dine-in Monday but had only seen a few customers. 

Staff at the eatery placed socially distanced tape markings on the floor and marked some tables out of use so customers would space themselves.

The Bar

The Bar in Phoenix fully opened Monday, with its employees wearing masks and gloves and customers spaced out on their barstools.


While the businesses above were calm Monday and worked hard to ensure social distancing measures, one bar and restaurant in Tempe was packed.

Several people took photos of C.A.S.A. full of people on both levels, with a line of others waiting to get in.

Not Fully Open

While some businesses opened their doors the first day they could, many owners have decided they need more time to prepare and plan to reopen later this week. Others have decided to remain closed for now, as they don’t believe it’s safe enough to send their employees back to work. 

A group of business owners, organized under the name Too Soon Arizona, went so far as to sign a letter stating their belief that reopening now will “worsen human suffering” and cause the pandemic to drag on longer.

“We’re committed to keeping our communities (our employees, our customers, our families) strong and safe,” the letter states. “Like the rest of you, we desperately want life to go back to normal. But things are not normal; case numbers per day are still rising across most of the nation, including here in Arizona, and lifting the stay-at-home order will cause an acceleration in cases and unnecessary deaths.”

And while some businesses are open completely and other remain closed, restaurants like Uberrito and True Food Kitchen are partially open. Customers can pick up to-go orders, or enjoy outside dining on the patios with distancing measures in place.

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  • Jessica Swarner

    Jessica Swarner is the community editor for The Copper Courier. She is an ASU alumna and previously worked at KTAR News 92.3 FM in Phoenix.

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