We lurch toward solutions these days, inventing and collaborating in the face of this uncontrolled illness. Nowhere has that been more apparent than with our restaurants. From the depths of March’s despair with full closure of all indoor dining, resourceful villages and eatery entrepreneurs remade themselves in spruced up and protected parking lanes and parking lots.

Now fall is almost here, COVID exposure is rising anew, very few diners want to sit inside a restaurant, and so the danger to our independent local spots is accelerating.

We seem to have a dining-out plan through Halloween (though we still need a plan for Halloween). After that how many layers might diners put on to eat hot soup in the cold? Does a tented parking lot with flaps and heaters feel open enough for our comfort?

Time for more reinvention — or before next spring arrives we’ll be permanently missing many of our favorite and defining local restaurants.

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