COVID-19, The Parlour, and You

UPDATE AS OF MARCH 17:

After a lot of thought and consideration, we’ve decided to suspend all service (including takeout and pickup orders) for now. You can still purchase e-gift cards for use when our shop reopens.

Hi friends. We know everyone is concerned about the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak in North Carolina and the Triangle.  We are taking this very seriously—as we believe everyone should. Here are some of the things we want you to know.

We are taking extra precautions

When we train new staff, we always stress the importance of frequent hand washing. Now our staff are sanitizing surfaces and washing their hands more often. We’re also sanitizing more surfaces, like doorknobs. Staff will wash hands or change gloves anytime there is incidental hand contact with a customer. There is a hand sanitizer station for customers right by exit door (north of the main door) and we will have a pump bottle available near the register whenever possible.

We are sometimes a crowded space

Of course, beyond extra sanitary measures, the biggest recommendation from public health experts is to avoid crowded public spaces, especially if you are sick or in a high-risk population. Because of our physical layout and ordering/service systems, it is hard for us to exert much control over crowds. We need your help with this!

What can you do?

Look, we almost never want to turn away business. But we want to defer to experts, and we think you should stay at home if 

  • you’re feeling at all unwell physically
  • you’re in a high-risk population
  • you’ve been asked to self-quarantine due to possible exposure to a confirmed COVID-19 case

Of course, even if you’re healthy and surrounded by low-risk people, the whole community is safer when public spaces are less crowded. If you do come in, you can help make that happen:

  • Maintain a few feet of distance from other people
  • Minimize hand contact with employees and other customers
  • Enjoy your ice cream outside (at the time of this writing, the weather is lovely)
  • Buy some pints (also available at Bulldega and Durham Coop Market) so you can wait longer for your next ice cream outing.

Also! If you’d like to leave a tip on a credit card purchase, ask the employee ringing you up to enter it, so there are fewer people touching the iPad. 

We are prepared for a downturn

This is the time of year when business usually starts picking up for us. But we don’t want anyone to feel guilty about practicing social isolation for the sake of community safety. If you’ve made that decision, we respect and appreciate you. We will not be upset about slower sales if it helps flatten the curve.

What about our staff?

You may be justifiably concerned about service industry employees. We just came out of our slow season, so we’re not yet at peak staffing levels. We also have savings and are making plans to take care of our staff if a downturn is serious. Most employees already have some paid time off hours available. If sales take a drastic hit, we will increase PTO balances so that folks working less can choose to pad their checks. In the event that we have to temporarily close up shop, we will still be able to pay current staff for several weeks.

You can help out while avoiding crowds

Before we go, a few more tips on helping local small businesses (not just us!) weather some tough times. 

  • Avoid crowds by going to your favorite spots during their non-peak hours. In our case, that’s typically noon–2:00 and 5:00–6:30 on weekdays. You can use Google maps to see when other businesses are least crowded. 
  • To help employers, buy gift cards now—then plan on waiting several months to use them:
  • To help employees directly, leave bigger tips than you normally do

Thanks for reading this! We appreciate you.

Don’t hesitate to contact us via email or social media if you have any questions. We will post updates to our site and social media if needed.

Saturday Florence Update

Hurricane Florence’s impact has been lighter than we expected, so for now we plan to be open today, Saturday September 15th, from 1:00 pm to 9:00 pm.

Of course, there is still rain and wind expected today, so things may change if we experience power outages or flooding issues. If all goes well, we expect to be open our regular hours (noon to 10:00 pm) tomorrow and Monday.

Stay safe!

Hurricane Florence Plans

Like many of you, we have been watching the shifting forecasts trying to plan for getting through hurricane Florence’s impact. Here’s what we’ve decided on so far.

It looks like rain and wind will be starting this evening (Thursday 9/13). For the safety of our staff, we will be closing at 6:00 pm. While we’re open during the day all ice cream, coffee and pastries will be 20% off.

We also intend to be closed Friday and Saturday. What happens beyond Saturday will depend on how the weather progresses. If we get bad power outages or water damage, we may need several extra days to clean up and/or restock. If the storm is extra mild, we may be able to reopen Saturday but with limited hours/menu/staff.

Please stay safe, and thanks for reading!

Holiday closing, the return of flight night, and oh boy do we not blog much

Hello, friends! I’m sure you’ve noticed that we don’t make blog posts very often (or perhaps you didn’t notice, since, well, we don’t make blog posts very often.) But we’ve got news to share.

First:

We will be closed from December 23rd through January 1st, reopening on January 2nd. Get your gift cards and holiday pints soon!

Second:

Speaking of gifts: have you seen our new t-shirts? Or our tea tins and bagged coffee? And did we mention the gift cards? We’ve got a great selection of stocking stuffers this year! And if you haven’t tasted our new selection of teas from Art of Tea, come in and try a cup with a homemade pastry for $1 off this Saturday.

Third:

Since the weather was unseasonably warm this fall, we’re just now starting to plan this year’s flight nights. Our first flight night will be Monday, January 9th. Mr. and Mrs. Parlour are traveling back to Mrs. Parlour’s home island of Saba this Christmas, and we’ll be bringing back ingredients for a very special Caribbean-themed flight. We’ll update again with the menu and ticket link when we return from our trip!

And finally: eggnog ice cream goes on the menu this week! Made with spiced rum and Homeland Creamery nog. Happy holidays!

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We’re hosting our first pop-up dinner!

Since our first flight night was such a success, we’re moving on to the next item on our agenda: hosting a dinner in our party room space! We’ve got a Thanksgiving-themed menu planned and we’ll be making LOTS of food. We don’t have the menu 100% set yet, but we’re very excited about the seitan roast recipe we’re working on: stuffed with butternut squash, wrapped in bacon, and baked inside a puff pastry shell. And yes, everything will be 100% vegan. Get your tickets here: https://theparlour.co/events/event/pre-thanksgiving/

We’ve got some good news…and some bad news.

Let’s start with the bad news first. Unfortunately, construction on our shop’s expansion is undergoing some major delays. Going through a brick wall in a multi-story building is pretty complicated. Since expanding the shop means cutting through a brick masonry wall, that also means finding a way to reinforce that wall and keep it holding up the building. The way to do that is to put in some steel beams and concrete footers under the floor, on firmly packed soil. Read more