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Robin Garr

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Support your local restaurants: Now more than ever

by Robin Garr » Wed Nov 25, 2020 10:57 am

Support your local restaurants: Now more than ever

Powerful heaters keep El Mundo Highlands' patio cozy on chilly evenings.
Image

If you’re the least bit interested in the Louisville dining scene, you know how many of our vibrant local restaurants have been struggling since the Covid-19 pandemic brought strict, but necessary, restrictions starting last March.

Things may have looked a little better during the summer when good weather invited patio dining and improving case rates fostered slightly loosened restrictions including resumed dining in with limited, socially distanced seating.

But the expected autumn Covid spike brought about the return of strict rules. On November 18, Governor Andy Beshear announced that Kentucky bars and restaurants would have to discontinue indoor service from Friday, November 20 through at least Sunday, December 13, assuming the contagion numbers have eased by then. Beshear said the order was a “tough but important step” to counter the growing pandemic and keep Kentuckians safe.

Is there anything that all of us who love local restaurants can do? I suppose we could try complaining, but that hasn’t worked with the governor so far, and with good reason: To be fair, restaurant indoor dining is one of the few pandemic activities, other than loud singing in church – that fosters viral spread through extended unmasked interaction. Let’s just do it, folks.

So how can we be effective? We can still support our local restaurants, and we can do it a lot. Before any more old favorites join Uptown Cafe, Harvest, Rye, now Couvillion, and so many other victims of the hard times in permanent closure, let’s support them with our dining money.

No, we can’t dine in. But just about every eatery that’s still open in town is offering takeout and delivery. Many of them have easy online ordering forms, and many will bring your prepaid order out to the car in a no-touch transaction. Bring it home, and bring a drink or two home too, under Kentucky’s newly permissive takeout regulations. Plate it on your own dinner table, enjoy it, and then do it again.

What’s more, we might not be able to eat inside restaurants, but we can still eat on their patios and outdoor dining areas. Yes, the weather is turning cold, but a typical Louisville winter still brings mild spells. More important, tons of restaurants are installing powerful patio heaters to keep the outdoor spaces warm (see El Mundo photo at the top of the page); and some, like Cuvee Wine Table, also offer heated single-use blankets! Some are adding overhead tents to keep the winds down (although walled tents look too much like indoors. They block airflow and thus are verboten).

So carry it out – that’s better than using delivery services that may charge the restaurant a fee. Come, sit down in a warmed patio. Be sure to tip well, and direct a little extra back to the gang in the kitchen. Your servers and the kitchen crew need it right now. Also consider buying restaurant gift certificates for later use by you and your friends.

Also, if you can, consider making a donation to organizations that help troubled restaurant workers. APRON Inc. is a personal favorite, but The LEE Initative's Restaurant Workers Relief Program is a good operation to support, too, and the new Adopt A Server Louisville group looks like another good way to help.

But do what you can, one way or the other, and #StrongerTogether we’ll hope to see our famous restaurant scene make it through this hard winter.

Now let’s go eat! If you’re looking for specific restaurants or bars with heated patios, @City Concierge Louisville’s comprehensive list is posted elsewhere in this forum.

Read the complete article on LouisvilleHotBytes,
http://www.louisvillehotbytes.com/suppo ... estaurants

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