While some local businesses plan to reopen Wednesday, others are holding off as they try to meet the safety regulations required.

Restaurants and businesses that welcome customers will mandate masks, offer hand sanitizer and follow various other guidelines from the state to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Others business owners said they need more time.

About half of the businesses that can reopen Wednesday aim to do so in some way shape or form, said P.J. Prunty, president and CEO of the Greater Danbury Chamber of Commerce. The other half are either waiting two to three weeks to see how the consumers react to the first phase or need to take additional measure to make sure their employees and customers are safe, he said.

“They are very anxious to open, but at the same time, they want to do this in a strategic and healthy way to avoid any resurgence of COVID-19 cases,” Prunty said.

Moda Brazil by Elis’Angela in Danbury aims to open either Wednesday or Thursday, said Craig Layok, whose wife owns the Brazilian clothing store.

Layok said he is nervous it will take customers more time to feel comfortable shopping. After being open for two years, the store was starting to build a good customer base, but has taken a hit during the pandemic, he said.

“I really hope people come to a level of comfort and this thing subdues in the next couple months,” Layok said. “Unfortunately, this is a make-or-break situation for us.”

The store is working on getting a thermal-scan thermometer to screen people when they come in, and plans to put markings on the floor to encourage people to keep 6 feet apart. The small boutique generally has no more than five people inside, Layok said. Hand sanitizer will be available.

Layok said he’s not sure what the protocol will be for trying on clothes. The state has said clothes tried on by a customer must be “quarantined” or thoroughly steamed cleaned. Layok said the latter would not be feasible.

Restaurants’ plans

As of last week, about a dozen restaurants had contacted Danbury officials about outdoor dining permits, said Sharon Calitro, planning director. The city has sped up the normally monthslong process to approve these permits.

Restaurants with outdoor seating need to be certified to ensure they meet the latest guidelines, while other establishments will apply for a 90-day permit, she said.

“We’re trying to make it as simple as possible,” Calitro said.

Rosy Tomorrow’s, a restaurant in Danbury, will open Wednesday with its existing outdoor dining, as well as curbside pickup.

Sean Deakin, vice president of operations at the nearly 40-year-old restaurant, said the “historic” menu will be replaced with a paper one. Hand sanitizing stations will be set up, as well.

“We’re experts on food,” he said in a video to customers. “We’re experts on health and sanitation. We want you to be safe. We also want our employees to be safe, so we need your help. Please come in with a mask. Please if you don’t feel well, stay home. We’ll bring you curbside pickup.”

Texas Roadhouse in Danbury plans to eventually offer outdoor seating, but the chain restaurant is experimenting at other locations first, said Loren Daly, marketer for the company.

Ibiza Tapas in Danbury will open a patio for its first outdoor seating at 4 p.m. Wednesday, general manager Laura Arias said.

Through its expedited process, Bethel approved Taproot Restaurant to put about 25 seats on the sidewalk, under the awning of its building, owner Jeff Taibe said.

But the tables will not be brought out until around next week, he said. Even then, staff will not take orders and serve food at the tables to minimize contact between people, Taibe said.

“We’re going to still focus primarily on to-go orders, but when we do have that outdoor seating, it will be more of a luxury to grab the food and sit down for a bit,” he said. “We probably won’t do a full service.”

Bethel is considering putting tables on town-owned property, such as P.T. Barnum Square and the municipal and library lawns, so people could order takeout and then sit outside, said Janice Chrzescijanek, director of economic development. .

“It provides restaurants that don’t have outdoor dining an opportunity to service more customers,” she said.

The patio at Broken Symmetry Gastro Brewery in Bethel will be open on Wednesday, co-owner Lisa Tassone said. Five picnic tables and two lounge areas that can fit five people each will be available, she said.

“We kind of want to see how it goes first, see how the response is from people, if people are behaving themselves,” she said.

Tassone also owns La Zingara Ristorante and the upstairs Ecco Rooftop Eatery and Bar, where she’s working on installing a tented area with about 10 seats for both restaurants. She is inquiring into whether the rooftop bar is allowed to open, even though customers would have to walk inside to get there. Neither will be ready by Wednesday because she needs more time to get approval.

Calitro expected restaurants to ask to put tables on sidewalks and in parking lots, but officials will need to check that these plans meet health guidelines, building codes and other regulations, such as sidewalk accessibility.

“We want everyone to be open, but they have to do it safely and we do have regulations we have to comply with,” she said.

Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton encouraged restaurants to present any ideas for review.

“Without that kind of creative thinking, you could lose as many as 40 to 50 percent of our family-owned restaurants,” he said.

Other businesses

The Danbury Fair mall is set to open Wednesday with new hours and precautions.

The mall will be open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from noon to 6 p.m. on Sundays, Boughton said in a Facebook Live video.

But some patrons’ favorite stores may be closed.

“That doesn’t mean every store in the mall is going to be open,” Boughton said. “There are some stores that are ready to go, some stores that want to add certain equipment, sneeze guards and things like that. It’s up to the individual store to decide whether they’re going to open on the (May) 20.”

He said the mall is working on the cooling system to increase air flow and will have hand sanitizer throughout the common areas.

Patrons will be required to wear a mask and practice social distancing.

“As we anticipate welcoming shoppers back to our center per the government ordinance, there is no higher priority than the health and wellness of our guests, employees, retailers, and community members,” Maura Ruby, senior property manager, said in a statement. “Danbury adheres to high operating standards and now has new protocols in place to meet today’s needs, including enhanced cleaning and sanitizing, social distance queuing, path of travel, security, deliveries, furniture placement and more, all developed per industry best practices and CDC recommendations.”

Meanwhile, Irene Rocha Bridal Tailoring and Alterations on Main Street in Danbury plans to open Wednesday. The shop will accept appointments online, and brides may only bring one person, owner Irene Rocha said. Patrons are required to wear masks.

“We are going to be very careful,” Rocha said.