Opening a Restaurant in the Midst of a Pandemic

How do you open a restaurant in the middle of a pandemic?  Two restaurants in Frederick County are overcoming challenges and receiving large community support.

Wilcom’s Inn, an established restaurant in Monrovia, found themselves out of business last summer after a tornado damaged the building at their location on Fingerboard Road.  The completion of their rebuild brought them to opening amid decisions driven by the country’s pandemic. 

Tsunami, located in Downtown Frederick and challenged with the usual difficulties of opening a new business, never had the opportunity to serve diners inside their new restaurant, but found themselves serving customers through the new normal – carryout, social distancing style.

Wilcom’s Inn is known as a fine dining restaurant offering four course meals.  Not only did they have to overcome many challenges to re-open their restaurant after last summer’s damage, they now had to adapt to a different scenario.  How does a fine dining restaurant offer takeout only orders? They faced a new set of challenges including choosing the appropriate takeout containers that would meet their high standards and finding a supplier for them. This new situation also had them looking at their menu and making changes to adapt to takeout orders while still providing high quality meals their customers had come to love.  Excitement built in Monrovia when they heard Wilcom’s Inn was reopening.  Their customers came out in force; so much so that on the first day they opened, Wilcom’s Inn had to close early because they ran out of food.  The owner is very happy with the support of the community and refers to them as “Family and Friends”.

Tsunami’s Restaurant, located in Downtown Frederick is defying the odds.  As a new restaurant they faced the challenge of opening their restaurant just as the State’s Stay-At-Home order began, but they came with a solid concept, a prime location, good staff and a good menu.  Tsunami offers a combination between original Japanese dishes and Western Style cuisine.  Tsunamis’ Co-Owner Moo Rung shared some insights with us about their current strategy.  A limited menu is being offered five days a week as take out only. Moo Rung says they are taking advantage of this time to train the kitchen staff to provide quality food for their customers.  They are also following the guidelines from the CDC for social distancing for both customers and staff.  They will be well prepared when diners can enjoy sitting down for their meal at 20 North Market Street.

Moo Rung said that they are marketing their new business through social media (Facebook, Instagram), with very good feedback from the Facebook group “Frederick County- Take Out”.  But they are also exploring other marketing opportunities.  For now, their focus is on providing quality food and supporting the community during these difficult times.  They offer a 20% discount to frontline workers that come to the restaurant.  Moo Rung expressed “We are happy to be here in Frederick and thank you to the community for your support”.

If you would like to order from either of these restaurants, as well as from many other restaurants in Frederick County, please visit