OSWEGO — Rudy’s Lakeside Drive-In is set to open Wednesday with changes to its operation.
The popular seasonal seafood restaurant on the shore of Lake Ontario is taking precautions for its workers and customers as coronavirus fears continue to grip the country.
Among the most impactful changes to the Oswego landmark restaurant, customers can expect to no longer have access to the interior of the building. Diners seeking fried clams, kiddie kippers or a Texas hot are asked to call in, pay with a credit card and then enter the car corral in the front of the building to pick up their food.
“There’s going to be a lot of posts on Facebook today and we’re going to have some run-throughs and videos,” manager Doug Appleman said of the new configuration. “We’re putting all sorts of signs out there tonight and put people out front to help people know what to do.
“We will have a walk-up window for takeout, but we’re suggesting people to use that for cash only. After that, they’ll probably have to go back to their vehicle and wait for their food.”
Besides common social distancing measures — such as customers being asked to stay six feet apart — Appleman said customers can also expect a shortened menu when Rudy’s opens on Wednesday.
“We’re trying to compress the menu for faster service to get people in and out quicker,” Appleman said. “The menu will change on a daily, weekly basis. It’s fluid.”
Customers can place orders by calling either of the restaurant’s two phone numbers: 315-343-2671 or 343-1247.
Appleman said the lead-up to the opening was “a little hectic” Tuesday.
“Hopefully it will be steady and everything will go well,” Appleman said. “There’s going to be some hiccups and hopefully the public is understanding, and give us a few days. We will do our best to make sure everyone gets what they want in a timely manner.
“We’re looking forward to seeing our customers again.”
Rudy’s was scheduled to open last week, but the decision was made to postpone it until Wednesday.
“The staff was very understanding. The situation is changing daily, hourly,” Appleton said. “We just have to learn to change with it.”
For now, Rudy’s will be open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. Appleman said those hours could also change depending on how things go.
“If the situation gets better, we’ll take away the car corral possibly and go to takeout only with window service,” Appleman said. “If it gets better after that, we can maybe let people in the building.
“If the situation gets better after that, hopefully we’ll get back to good old Rudy’s.”