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Outside Patio Dining... who's doing it best? (coronavirus)

Outside Patio Dining... who's doing it best? (coronavirus)
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  • Outside Patio Dining... who's doing it best? (coronavirus)

    Post #1 - June 27th, 2020, 12:34 pm
    Post #1 - June 27th, 2020, 12:34 pm Post #1 - June 27th, 2020, 12:34 pm
    I know there's a couple other corona dining threads and if this is redundant we can merge to them instead but this is a more targeted question.
    "In pursuit of joys untasted"
    from Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata
  • Post #2 - June 27th, 2020, 12:44 pm
    Post #2 - June 27th, 2020, 12:44 pm Post #2 - June 27th, 2020, 12:44 pm
    On my way home from the farmer's market, I walked past Smylie Brothers on Oak across from the post office in Evanston, and they had nine tables set out, and all were occupied at 12:15. They did a trial run last weekend to work out the kinks. They are only allowing four people per table, and I suspect they took out some of the tables that were there. The tables looked like they were spaced at least 6 feet apart. You have to make a reservation for the tables. I love their ribs.
  • Post #3 - June 27th, 2020, 4:46 pm
    Post #3 - June 27th, 2020, 4:46 pm Post #3 - June 27th, 2020, 4:46 pm
    Hopleaf back patio was very distanced two weeks back. Felt very safe. Prompt, courteous, and kind service as always. Prices were up a bit on some items, which I totally get. One hour limit on twosomes.

    Four Moon Tavern in Roscoe Village was well-spaced, and the staff took many precautions.
  • Post #4 - June 27th, 2020, 5:27 pm
    Post #4 - June 27th, 2020, 5:27 pm Post #4 - June 27th, 2020, 5:27 pm
    I haven't been there lately but since Piccolo Sogno has such an awesome outdoor dining space and decent food, I would start there.
  • Post #5 - June 27th, 2020, 7:19 pm
    Post #5 - June 27th, 2020, 7:19 pm Post #5 - June 27th, 2020, 7:19 pm
    Really liked the patio at Plateia in Niles. Airy space, reminded me of Santorini.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #6 - June 28th, 2020, 1:30 pm
    Post #6 - June 28th, 2020, 1:30 pm Post #6 - June 28th, 2020, 1:30 pm
    Obviously, there are lots of different ways places are "best" - food, distancing, etc. (I assume they all have face masks on all their staff.)

    It might help to note how much distance is in their distancing; six feet is minimum, but more than that is even better.

    For example, last week I drove past Walker Brothers in Wilmette, and it looked like each table was 10-12 feet from the next, which is excellent.
  • Post #7 - June 28th, 2020, 8:15 pm
    Post #7 - June 28th, 2020, 8:15 pm Post #7 - June 28th, 2020, 8:15 pm
    We’ve had a few good experiences at Une Annee’s outdoor space in Niles. You book your socially distanced table on line via their website. Once you are settled in, order drinks and food through the Toast app. They process orders quickly and call your name for pick-up. Each table has it’s own tent for shade/rain protection. Don’t think I’d come here for dinner, but great for lunch or snacks. Really nice meat/cheese plate. Child and dog friendly without being annoying, IMHO.
    Une Annee
    6343 W Gross Point Rd
    Niles, IL
  • Post #8 - June 28th, 2020, 8:37 pm
    Post #8 - June 28th, 2020, 8:37 pm Post #8 - June 28th, 2020, 8:37 pm
    Monteverde, hands down.

    Meg and Sarah have figured out a way to keep their team safe, e.g. LOADS of distance between tables, bottled water, portioned bread sticks, while providing the same outstanding food.
  • Post #9 - June 29th, 2020, 7:54 am
    Post #9 - June 29th, 2020, 7:54 am Post #9 - June 29th, 2020, 7:54 am
    Devon Seafood in Oakbrook Terrace has been doing a great job. Only 5 tables by my count, and they could easily fit another 3-4 in there but chose to maximize the spacing instead. Mask policy to be seated/go inside to use the washroom is strictly enforced. Fresh glasses of water instead of refills, bussers wear gloves, etc... Reservations seem to be required (I saw several people turned away when we were there for a late lunch at 2 PM a couple of weeks ago). By far the safest feeling outdoor dining space my wife and I have hit up (and she's a stickler).
  • Post #10 - June 29th, 2020, 12:12 pm
    Post #10 - June 29th, 2020, 12:12 pm Post #10 - June 29th, 2020, 12:12 pm
    I have only eaten out twice since the virus started but I'll comment on the one that had a server. Lefty's Pizza Kitchen in Wilmette has 4 tables outside with a server. One of the tables is much further away that the others but all were acceptable (we chose that table during the one time we went). There are a number of community picnic benches across the street if you simply wanted to get a pizza to go and eat it there without any contact from a server.
  • Post #11 - June 29th, 2020, 5:18 pm
    Post #11 - June 29th, 2020, 5:18 pm Post #11 - June 29th, 2020, 5:18 pm
    The patio at ABA is a couple stories up in the fresh air and sunshine.
    I could not have felt safer.
    No menus handled, You view it on your mobile device.
    The food did not miss a beat!
  • Post #12 - June 30th, 2020, 4:47 pm
    Post #12 - June 30th, 2020, 4:47 pm Post #12 - June 30th, 2020, 4:47 pm
    I think Subway is leading the charge re: social distancing; check out the before/after difference:

    https://youtu.be/YaQqj2PmBh4

    Love,
    John
    It isn't that I'm not full...
  • Post #13 - June 30th, 2020, 5:41 pm
    Post #13 - June 30th, 2020, 5:41 pm Post #13 - June 30th, 2020, 5:41 pm
    Mikey wrote:The patio at ABA

    Would be nice but hard not to share food there
    "In pursuit of joys untasted"
    from Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata
  • Post #14 - July 1st, 2020, 9:04 am
    Post #14 - July 1st, 2020, 9:04 am Post #14 - July 1st, 2020, 9:04 am
    No matter how safe a restaurant can make it feel for customers, I don't think there is any way for servers to truly be protected. It's just the reality of COVID-19. All states that opened outdoor dining saw spikes and we will see it here as well, especially with people pushing for indoor dining.

    Everyone misses dining out, but I think we should just accept that our desire to eat on a patio should not outweigh the health and safety of servers who bear the brunt of the danger (and by all accounts I've seen, are making less money serving than collecting unemployment).
  • Post #15 - July 1st, 2020, 9:44 am
    Post #15 - July 1st, 2020, 9:44 am Post #15 - July 1st, 2020, 9:44 am
    gnarchief wrote:No matter how safe a restaurant can make it feel for customers, I don't think there is any way for servers to truly be protected. It's just the reality of COVID-19. All states that opened outdoor dining saw spikes and we will see it here as well, especially with people pushing for indoor dining.

    Everyone misses dining out, but I think we should just accept that our desire to eat on a patio should not outweigh the health and safety of servers who bear the brunt of the danger (and by all accounts I've seen, are making less money serving than collecting unemployment).

    I absolutely agree in that I cannot understand the urgency some people are feeling to dine out again. I guess I'm just more cautious than others but for me, the risks so outweigh the benefits, it's not gnawing at me at all. Yes, I miss certain places and certain dishes but going to these places now would not be the same. No zombie version is going to satisfy in any reasonable way. I recently ate outside at a place I love and trust . . . and I'd be lying if I said I felt particularly comfortable during that experience, even though they did just about everything as I would have wanted. It was fine but I have no plans to repeat it any time soon. In some ways, I felt like I was just checking a box.

    As for the servers and other staff, if they don't want to return to work, they shouldn't. I don't understand what pressure there is on any hospitality industry workers to return to work. Are their jobs being threatened? I'm not trying to be snarky here. I truly don't understand.

    I too have heard from a few industry friends that they're doing better financially not working than they were while working in pre-pandemic times. So, if they don't want to be at work, they shouldn't be. When this ends, hopefully their places of employment will still exist and their jobs will be available. If not, other, similar jobs are likely to be, especially if there's a vaccine. But more importantly, I hope that the industry re-emerges at that point as a more sustainable one -- one that pays a living wage and provides benefits to its employees. Perhaps these workers staying home now is the best way to foment such change. Coming back, even in truly post-pandemic times, to more of what was, doesn't seem like it would be anyone's first choice, either.

    =R=
    By protecting others, you save yourself. If you only think of yourself, you'll only destroy yourself. --Kambei Shimada

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #16 - July 1st, 2020, 9:49 am
    Post #16 - July 1st, 2020, 9:49 am Post #16 - July 1st, 2020, 9:49 am
    My understanding is that if the restaurant reopens and the server is offered to return to work and does not take it, they are no longer eligible for unemployment. I don't really believe the servers have a choice financially. I hope this is not the case, but it is what I have been told.
  • Post #17 - July 1st, 2020, 10:03 am
    Post #17 - July 1st, 2020, 10:03 am Post #17 - July 1st, 2020, 10:03 am
    Nothing like using the working class as an experiment.
    "In pursuit of joys untasted"
    from Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata
  • Post #18 - July 1st, 2020, 11:04 am
    Post #18 - July 1st, 2020, 11:04 am Post #18 - July 1st, 2020, 11:04 am
    Yeah, you lose the unemployment if you refuse to return to work. It's a terrible system and there isn't enough discussion about how landlords are holding hospitality workers hostage essentially. They pressure businesses to reopen to ensure that the rent flows in (assuredly without any subsidizing due to the global fucking pandemic) and the ones who lose out financially, or worse, are the restaurant employees.

    I personally find the images of serves in PPE bringing plates to laughing patrons to be straight up dystopian. This is not something we should want.
  • Post #19 - July 1st, 2020, 11:32 am
    Post #19 - July 1st, 2020, 11:32 am Post #19 - July 1st, 2020, 11:32 am
    I've heard that the $600 a week most people are getting in unemployment, is going to expire 7/31.

    On a Facebook page I visit occasionally called Support Evanston Restaurants, they actually encourage people to frequent Evanston restaurants so they will survive the pandemic. They have also been promoting Black owned restaurants in Evanston lately. They had somebody that posted about her less than positive experience at a restaurant in Evanston a few weeks ago when she did takeout before they opened up their patio, and she got raked over the coals because she was not supporting Evanston restaurants.

    I've noticed that a lot of restaurants have gofundme pages to help out their employees, with varying degrees of success. There is also one restaurant in Evanston that has a gofundme page so they can bring back their employees to fix meals which will then be donated to various nonprofits and hospitals.
    Last edited by NFriday on July 1st, 2020, 12:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #20 - July 3rd, 2020, 9:38 am
    Post #20 - July 3rd, 2020, 9:38 am Post #20 - July 3rd, 2020, 9:38 am
    NFriday wrote:I've heard that the $600 a week most people are getting in unemployment, is going to expire 7/31.

    Actually it will expire 7/25. That is the Fed portion . The state portion will continue until you use up your allotment. The state portion is often only $100-$300, depending on how much you made while employed
  • Post #21 - July 3rd, 2020, 12:20 pm
    Post #21 - July 3rd, 2020, 12:20 pm Post #21 - July 3rd, 2020, 12:20 pm
    We've eaten out a few times, only on patios.

    R Public House -- Expanded sidewalk seating (includes the adjacent wine store), paper menus available upon request (otherwise via phone), we are very comfortable dining here.

    Farmhouse Evanston -- Very expanded sidewalk seating and huge spacing between tables. Paper menus provided to all, online/touchless credit card payment system. The one thing I don't get is why they make you walk through the restaurant to be seated outside.

    The Dawson -- Great meal but too crowded for our tastes. Tables are well spaced, but there are a lot of people here and if you're seated at a table near the entrance, the volume of foot traffic was pretty high.

    Peckish Pig -- All seating in their back patio, enter from the street, exit (and pay) via the restaurant. Tables are well spaced. Note that they're primarily using plastic utensils and plastic glasses.

    Parson's (Lincoln Park) -- One party per picnic table. Menu available online. It felt like they were firing on all cylinders but we were happy we went for a weekday lunch when only about 1/3rd of the tables were occupied.

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