A restaurant named after one of the best dive spots in the world and specializes in garlic steak reopened for dine-in customers last week.
Grotto Garlic Restaurant finally reopened after nearly two months of being closed due to COVID-19 concerns. Initially, the restaurant reopened for take-out only, but after the government relaxed its social distancing measures, it welcomed dine-in guests starting last May 18, albeit occupancy is limited to 25% of its original 36-seat capacity.
“Each table has a distance of 6 feet from the next table. We also keep clean and sanitize our entrance and restroom areas,” said restaurant manager Yoshi Suzuki.
Like other local businesses, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a very negative impact on Grotto Garlic Restaurant’s operations. “We have [gotten] very big impact and big decline [in] revenue due to the coronavirus,” he told Saipan Tribune.
Grotto Garlic Restaurant also had to furlough one employee.
To serve customers in this time of COVID-19, Suzuki has required staff to always use masks and gloves. Customers also need to wear masks and enter and exit through designated entrance and exit doors. Hand sanitizers are also available at the entrance of the restaurant.
Suzuki said the Grotto Garlic Restaurant was established in 1995 by a Japanese diving instructor who fell in love with the island’s scenic dive spots, particularly the Marpi dive spot that the restaurant is named after.
“The main theme of our restaurant is the Blue Grotto so Saipan’s underwater videos are constantly showing on three of our large flat-screen TVs (two 50” and one 32”). Customers could enjoy our food and our specific atmosphere,” he said.
Aside from the mouth-watering garlic steak (Certified Angus Beef rib-eye), Grotto Garlic Restaurant is also known for its deep fried chicken with sweet chili sauce and various fusion pizzas, according to Suzuki.
Its full menu pre-COVID-19 is available.
Grotto Garlic Restaurant is located along Beach Road in Garapan. It’s open Tuesday-Sunday, from 5pm to 9pm (last order 8:30pm). For more information or for reservations, call 233-2298 or on their Facebook page.