We know our readers value our local restaurants. We see it in the enthused response to the Takeout 25 Oak Park movement. This is the organic project cajoling and demanding that locals order at least $25 per week in takeout from a nearby restaurant.
The Facebook page for this project has already hit a fabulous 4,000-plus members. And, between mouthfuls, they are chatting away about how they love this spot, that dish, these determined entrepreneurs who took the leap in opening a restaurant and are now hanging on by a thread to keep dreaming.
As we report today, we are also starting to see the Facebook responses from local restaurant owners who are feeling the love, ringing up the sales, actually calling back employees they had let go as business plummeted.
Ravi Parakkat is the local fellow who did the math and figured out we need to collectively spend at least a million a month among 100 local restaurants to keep them going till the vaccines take hold. (Parrakat is also a candidate for village trustee.)
He observes that we are more likely to spend freely on takeout between now and New Year’s. It is the dark days of January and February that worry the project organizers as we hunker down in the cold with federal benefits drying up and credit card bills piling up. That is when we will really need to focus on keeping our local restaurants alive.
So make a plan. Plan to shop for Christmas in our wonderful and beleaguered local stores. Plan to eat takeout from our astounding but endangered collection of independent restaurants.