So, you’re done with all your giddy holiday celebrations. Wait, they weren’t that giddy? OK, but we’re betting some part of your COVID stay-at-home party involved pick-up or delivery of food from one of the great and struggling restaurants that make Oak Park, River Forest, Forest Park (and the adjacent burbs in Galewood, Elmwood Park and Berwyn) so great.
That was then. This is now.
It is January. Short, cold days. Holiday bills to pay. Maybe a few pounds to shed. Right. Like that will happen.
But this is the moment our restaurateurs have most feared. Post-holiday. Too cold for outside dining. And way too COVID-infested for indoor dining.
Our conscious choice to keep ordering take-out over the next eight weeks will determine if we have a vibrant restaurant community by the time early, early spring arrives. Or, if we have let this great and happy part of our lives vanish, storefront by storefront.
We are boosters of the TakeOut25 Oak Park movement. With 6,000 Facebook followers and an active, chatty and supportive community growing up in support of local dining, there is something powerful underway.
This is the make or break moment. Tonight. This week. This weekend. Order in. Save our restaurants. Save the jobs of the waitstaff we all know and value. Save the flavor of these villages.
And then do it again next week.