Here’s what you need to know about Phase I re-opening in the Innovation Quarter

3 minute read

Innovation Quarter during the day

Today, North Carolina Executive Order 138 goes into effect, otherwise known as the “Phase I” re-opening of certain retail, public spaces and other areas following the COVID-19 shutdowns.

It can be a bit confusing to sort out the differences and understand what’s available, what’s open and what’s not, so here’s a primer on what Phase I means for Innovation Quarter:

1. Employers are still encouraged to do business remotely as much as possible

For the last almost two months, virtually all workers and students here in the Innovation Quarter have been using Zoom calls, FaceTime and other methods to stay connected to each other while working and learning from home. That will continue through Phase I.

The good news is that virtual events and workshops abound on our iQ calendar to keep you connected with your community.

In addition, Greater Winston-Salem, Inc. has compiled this up-to-date Covid-19 resource page for businesses and employees.

2. Restaurants are still doing take-out and delivery

Phase I maintains the restriction on dine-in at restaurants and bars. In the Innovation Quarter, Krankies is now open for pre-paid pick-up Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Grocery pickup is still available on Saturday’s for those orders placed online with 48 hours advance notice. Cugino Forno is slinging their signature pizza every day that you can order for takeout or have delivered through Postmates, Grubhub or DoorDash.

Incendiary Brewing is likewise open only for pickup and carryout, and you can even place an online order for pickup.

If you’re looking for something to sweeten your day, Lill Dipper is opening back up on May 9, serving up some socially distanced soft serve from their always take-out window from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. every day.

And food trucks are an almost-daily option during the day in the Innovation Quarter, with full listings up-to-date on our events calendar.

Check out more ways to continue to support downtown retail businesses here.

3. Parks and paths are open

Gov. Cooper’s executive order for Phase I states that “all people in North Carolina are encouraged to engage in outdoor activities,” so long as those activities don’t create mass gatherings or prevent the six-foot distancing rule.

Bailey Park and the Long Branch Trail are excellent options for getting outside, especially now that prime spring weather is upon us. To help maintain proper distancing guidelines, we ask that you pay attention to crowd levels and abide by the six-foot distance rule at all times.

4. In-person events are still on hold

Because of the continued restriction on mass gatherings (more than 10 people), our usual lineup of Innovation Quarter events like Sunset Salutations, Innovation & Cinema and Food Truck Friday are still on hold, along with partnered events like the in-person Thursday Gatherings of Venture Café Winston-Salem.

The good news is that some of these events have moved virtual — head to our IGTV channel to take in free yoga sessions from Lotus Yoga and workouts from F45 Fitness, or log in on Thursday evenings to participate in a virtual gathering with the Venture Café community from around the world!
Remember that, according to the executive order, staying at home as much as possible, hand-washing and face coverings remain strongly advised.

Lindsey Schwab is the director of community relations for the Innovation Quarter. Have more questions regarding Phase I reopening? Email her at