On July 8, Time Out Market Montreal officially reopened its doors after four months of shutdown as a result of COVID-19. New measures are in place to ensure the health and safety of the employees, vendors and guests. I went to check out what the "new normal" looks like for one of the city's top culinary experiences. And, it's safe to say that everything seemed up to Santé Montréal standards, but in a way that is so quintessentially Time Out.
We spoke to the team last month about what the entire experience will look like once the doors reopened. It was hard to imagine what the new experience would truly be.
I went to the market on reopening day and saw all of their safety precautions come to life, bringing the best of the city back under one roof.
The reopening will happen in stages, with vendors coming back gradually.
On July 8, six concessionaires (including favourites, like Moleskin and Romados), a cooking school, a retail space, two mocktail and soda bars, a wine bar, a beer bar, and a cocktail bar will start things off.
Unlike restaurants, Time Out has the benefit of having 40,000 square feet.
This ample space to comply with social distancing rules and high ceilings with advanced technology air circulation and filtration system.
They also have signage, outlining the safety precautions and what is needed from the staff and guests to ensure the safest dining experience possible.
There are hand sanitization stations at the entrance, and around the market, as well as an extra cleaning crew to wipe down surfaces.
There's also contactless service and delivery options, plus a new TOM app to help with faster and safer service, available on the Apple Store and Google Play.
Plexiglass partitions have been put up at the counters, bars and in the dining areas.
So, you won't be getting too close to the people sitting next to you if the market happens to get busy.
"We're so excited to welcome Montreal back to the best of the city under one roof. Of course, in a socially distanced way," Ashley Rosenberger, founder of Rose PR, told me while I visited Time Out.
"We know Montrealers are itching to travel, but now you can 'travel' the world again without leaving the city."
Like I said, I wasn't sure what to expect, but I was so impressed with the experience.
The passion for the food scene here in the city is still burning, but the desire to share it in a way that keeps everyone safe put us all at ease.
Ashley Rosenberger let MTL Blog know that Montreal's Time Out Market was the first to reopen in North America.