What Will Local Restaurants Do When Winter Finally Shows Up?
Summer certainly brought it's own challenges this year under the umbrella of the coronavirus. Guidelines put forth by the state were certainly a challenge for a lot of business owners. Certainly from a political aspect. Some places played by the rules, some didn't. And it seems no one fully agrees on the correct course of action.
But one thing that's been consistent this summer, is outdoor seating. Most restaurants can allow in some cases, only about a quarter of their normal seating capacity indoors. Many towns all over the state have even gone as far as to change traffic flow in and block off streets to allow for more seating outside.
So what's going to happen to restaurants when Old Man Winter shows up for his table? Some businesses will undoubtedly have to convert back to a takeout model, especially depending on whether or not any kind of indoor seating is allowed anywhere. Going by earlier in the year, that doesn't seem likely.
Some spots, like Mason's in Brewer, added extra outdoor space and will put up special heaters to keep outdoor seating as long as possible, according to WABI - TV5. Or the Sea Dog in Bangor built a wall in their dining room to be able to double their indoor seating, and have secret plans to keep going in the winter.
And Hero's in Bangor felt the takeout business was brisk enough for them to likely continue that model through the winter. But what of bars, and smaller restaurants that don't have deep pockets or lots of space? That still remains to be seen. But it certainly looks like most business owners are already getting their plan together.
We've all been lulled into somewhat of a false sense of security. It's been a long hot summer where a lot of folks almost seemed to get what's going on in the world. We got to travel a bit, eat out a bit, go shopping, etc. But... there's no two ways about it. Winter is coming, and it's going to get worse before it gets better... Again.