Saving restaurants and ourselves

Opinion: Editorials

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Print

By Editorial

We were happy Monday to hear that Oak Park is "losing patience" with local restaurants that continue to flout the state-mandated closure of all indoor dining and drinking as COVID cases explode across Chicago and the nation. 

Working off complaints from residents and its own observation of violators, Village Manager Cara Pavlicek said village staff will ramp up from visiting non-compliant restaurants to cease-and-desist letters from the village attorney and, critically, held out the option of fully shutting restaurants down until they agree to comply completely.

Good. This is not the moment to mess around. Indoor dining is plain dangerous. 

At the same moment, an ad hoc group of locals are banding together to create motivation and mechanism to spur Oak Parkers to consciously order takeout every week from one of Oak Park's approximately 100 restaurants. We're not good at math but the leader of this effort, Ravi Parakkat, calculates villagers need to order up a million bucks of takeout every month to funnel $10,000 to each restaurant.

The ask is that locals spend a minimum of $25 per week for takeout at local restaurants.

Here's what we like about Parakkat's effort (and, yes, he is currently a candidate for Oak Park trustee in the April election), it focuses us on possibility and urgency to save the critical and wonderful independent restaurant industry in our hometown.

"The debate between restaurant survival and public health does not yield any results that benefit the business or broader community. The solution has to be beneficial to both," says Parakkat. 

That's straight thinking. Good to see his effort joined by the leaders of local business districts, the chamber of commerce, the Oak Park Economic Development Corporation, Visit Oak Park, a5 Marketing, and Wednesday Journal's Oak Park Eats.

We love our restaurants. But we can't let a few outliers kill us before this pandemic is finally beaten to a pulp. Order in. Eat up. Live to tell the story.

Love the Journal?

Become our partner in independent community journalism

Thanks for turning to Wednesday Journal and OakPark.com. We love our thousands of digital-only readers. Now though we're asking you to partner up in paying for our reporters and photographers who report this news. It had to happen, right?

On the plus side, we're giving you a simple way, and a better reason, to join in. We're now a non-profit -- Growing Community Media -- so your donation is tax deductible. And signing up for a monthly donation, or making a one-time donation, is fast and easy.

No threats from us. The news will be here. No paywalls or article countdowns. We're counting on an exquisite mix of civic enlightenment and mild shaming. Sort of like public radio.

Claim your bragging rights. Become a digital member.

Donate Now

Reader Comments

No Comments - Add Your Comment

Note: This page requires you to login with Facebook to comment.

Comment Policy

Facebook Connect

Answer Book 2019

To view the full print edition of the Wednesday Journal 2019 Answer Book, please click here.

Quick Links

Sign-up to get the latest news updates for Oak Park and River Forest.


            
SubscribeClassified
MultimediaContact us
Submit Letter To The Editor
Place a Classified Ad

Classified Ad