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Old 05-04-2020, 05:01 PM
Sitnam is offline
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Closed dining and the picnic table solution


There is a local brewery near where I live and they sell appetizers and beer. Since Covid they closed their indoor tasting area and now serve growlers and the like out of a drive thru window kinda deal. Near the window is a few picnic tables for patrons waiting for their jug to be filled.

Why couldn’t that be a workaround for restaurants? No bathrooms of course, perhaps no tables even on restaurant property because of the ban, but why not a few tables and trash cans in the ditch at the roadside near the place. They’re still technically ‘off sale’ food and drinks.

I’m not saying it’s sound virus management, but it does appear to be a loophole and large chain stores don’t appear to all be on the same page with their Covid measures.
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Old 05-04-2020, 05:59 PM
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In most municipalities you cannot drink alcohol in public except at licensed establishments and permitted events, hence why restaurants and fairs often have signage to the effect of not taking alcoholic beverages beyond a designated boundary. And placing tables off-property (by “in a ditch” I assume you mean in the roadside verge) could be considered littering or improper trash disposal. A hospitality business deliberately facilitating this could be fined or lose their license to serve food and beverages.

Nonetheless, I have seen multiple instances of people getting food ‘to go’ at the restaurant below and then eating family style on the sidewalk and bench area across the sidewalk. The restaurant has made it clear that they are not encouraging this but people are doing this and more (including passing vaping pens around) in defiance of the general statewide ‘stay-at-home’ directive, because people are selfish idiots who think that catching “the Corona virus” is someone else’s problem.

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Old 05-04-2020, 06:11 PM
Fretful Porpentine is offline
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They are trying something like this in Lithuania, and it may be coming to New York as well.
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Old 05-04-2020, 06:27 PM
Joey P is offline
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I don't see it as a loophole at all. If you set up a dining area on city property, you're going to get in trouble with the city and risk them not renewing your licenses next year. Customer's eating over there, in violation of state orders, also risk getting into trouble.

This is all especially true for places that sell alcohol. It doesn't take a whole lot to get your liquor license non-renewed and if you're in the liquor/beer business that almost certainly means shutting down either permanently or until you can make the city happy again.

Having to worry about your license not getting renewed is why bar owners ask their patrons not to do stupid shit when they leave. Don't toss cups in the alley, don't blast your radio or rev your engines at 2 in the morning, don't do anything that's going to get the neighbors calling the police or city hall.

Also, WRT "I’m not saying it’s sound virus management", you have to understand that as much as we want to open up sooner rather than later, I think most businesses understand that the less they do to attempt to subvert the spirit of the rules/laws, the sooner we'll get past this.
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Old 05-04-2020, 06:56 PM
Manda JO is offline
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I think you've misidentified r he problem we are looking to solve.
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Old 05-04-2020, 07:22 PM
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We're far from our little county's four municipalities. Outdoor noshing has occurred not far away since before the pandemic. A taco truck on private property has sheltered picnic tables adjacent but unfenced, and sells canned beer. A burger stand has unsheltered picnic tables in a low-fenced area, and sells canned and draft beer. I have seen more than a few rural sit-down eateries with backyards or parking-lot areas fenced for outside consumption. Get outa town! Deal with the county and state instead.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Manda JO View Post
I think you've misidentified r he problem we are looking to solve.
Vaccines may take a while.

Last edited by RioRico; 05-04-2020 at 07:24 PM.
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Old 05-04-2020, 10:31 PM
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I think you've misidentified r he problem we are looking to solve.
What I have identified is a ridiculously uneven set of standards for safety in this country. What I am asking is why certain closed businesses don’t take steps to stay in business with measures no egregious than steps taken by Walmart or any grocery store in the nation.

Let us not pretend all businesses open are ‘essential’. Let us not pretend there is a consistent set of standards for preventing Covid in all that are.

There is a weird “we’re all in this together” mantra being spoken, but clearly we are not.
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Old 05-04-2020, 11:40 PM
Joey P is offline
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Vaccines may take a while.
So, in the mean time we have to keep the virus moving as slowly as possibly. That way, when it's your turn to get it, there's an empty hospital bed ready.

Or, as I read somewhere, the country opening back up doesn't mean the virus is gone, it means the hospitals have room for you.
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Old 05-04-2020, 11:47 PM
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So, in the mean time we have to keep the virus moving as slowly as possibly. That way, when it's your turn to get it, there's an empty hospital bed ready.

Or, as I read somewhere, the country opening back up doesn't mean the virus is gone, it means the hospitals have room for you.
Right, we’re buying time. Not with large corporation’s money, mind you.
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Old 05-05-2020, 02:40 AM
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Right, we’re buying time. Not with large corporation’s money, mind you.
If the problem is that large corporations aren't being required to do as much as they should be to retard the spread of the virus, the situation is made worse, not better, by encouraging small enterprises to do less than they are currently doing.
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Old 05-05-2020, 07:49 AM
Manda JO is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sitnam View Post
What I have identified is a ridiculously uneven set of standards for safety in this country. What I am asking is why certain closed businesses don’t take steps to stay in business with measures no egregious than steps taken by Walmart or any grocery store in the nation.

Let us not pretend all businesses open are ‘essential’. Let us not pretend there is a consistent set of standards for preventing Covid in all that are.

There is a weird “we’re all in this together” mantra being spoken, but clearly we are not.

Having a couple picnic tables slightly off property will not bring in business that was not already willing to come by for take out. Patio seating, with climate control, might. But they aren't the same. If I can chose between driving home with my food or eating it at an uncomfortable picnic table dropped in an unlovely place . . Not seeing the upgrade.
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Old 05-05-2020, 09:35 AM
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If the problem is that large corporations aren't being required to do as much as they should be to retard the spread of the virus, the situation is made worse, not better, by encouraging small enterprises to do less than they are currently doing.
Yep.

OP, I'm not quite clear what the problem is that you're seeing. There's a discrepancy between how chain restaurants are managing this time vs. smaller local restaurants are managing it? What is that discrepancy?

In my community I'm not seeing any restaurant offering on-site dining, whether it's a chain restaurant or a mom-and-pop.
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Old 05-05-2020, 10:09 AM
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We've been doing some restaurant tailgating on the weekends. We find a place with drive-thru or carry-out, bring our own folding chairs, meet up with some friends and eat in the restaurants parking lot while keeping a safe distance from everyone.
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Old 05-05-2020, 10:34 AM
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We've been doing some restaurant tailgating on the weekends. We find a place with drive-thru or carry-out, bring our own folding chairs, meet up with some friends and eat in the restaurants parking lot while keeping a safe distance from everyone.
You might consider going to a park or even the parking lot of a nearby closed business and doing that. Depending on how that specific jurisdiction is handling things, you run the risk of causing problems for the restaurant. They could wind up with fines/tickets/revoked licenses for 'allowing' it to happen, even if they had nothing to do with it and didn't know you were out there.

At my place, it's difficult enough to try to keep people moving along when they all want to stop and chit chat for 10 minutes (especially when they want to chit chat with the cashier). I'm not sure what I'd do if I found out they brought lawn chairs and were hanging out in the parking lot. I think, at the very least, I'd be asking them to take it off the property, I don't want to be associated with it in any way.

Please try to keep in mind, the quarantine is as strict as it is because people wouldn't taken it upon themselves to social distance or stay home. Then more and more people try to find ways around the rules, the more restrictive they're going to get and the longer this will take.

Last edited by Joey P; 05-05-2020 at 10:35 AM.
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Old 05-05-2020, 11:28 AM
eenerms is offline
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Last Friday in this small town (2k) people took their to go Friday fish fry across to the village park. Don’t think they had beer. My idea is to close down couplE streets here( they did that during a October fest) and set up tables and canopies outside restaurants. Good for the summer and fall.
  #16  
Old 05-14-2020, 07:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sitnam View Post
There is a local brewery near where I live and they sell appetizers and beer. Since Covid they closed their indoor tasting area and now serve growlers and the like out of a drive thru window kinda deal. Near the window is a few picnic tables for patrons waiting for their jug to be filled.

Why couldn’t that be a workaround for restaurants? No bathrooms of course, perhaps no tables even on restaurant property because of the ban, but why not a few tables and trash cans in the ditch at the roadside near the place. They’re still technically ‘off sale’ food and drinks.

I’m not saying it’s sound virus management, but it does appear to be a loophole and large chain stores don’t appear to all be on the same page with their Covid measures.
I'm in restaurant operations so I guess I will weigh in. A number of our restaurants have sidewalk cafe or patio areas. They are licensed by the local municipality just like the business is. We are not currently sure how this will work as we start to reopen but I am certain there will be restrictions on occupancy and distancing just as there will be inside. Serving liquor, beer and wine on these patios is allowed in this jurisdiction provided the restaurant has the appropriate license. Currently we are not allowed to have people sitting in the sidewalk cafe area since we are not open to the public. They can get carryout from us and we can sell unopened wine, beer and liquor to them as well.

If any of these people were to find a nearby outside spot or picnic table to stop and eat, I don't imagine they would get hassled unless it is on private property. If they decide to consume any of the booze in public then they would likely get cited for that if the authorities spot them.
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Old 05-17-2020, 07:35 AM
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Saw a little mom and pop breakfast place open yesterday with tables in the tiny parking lot. There where about 6 tables, and they did have them distanced apart. I guess that meets our requirements in Colorado. Everyone was eating out of to go containers. Get food to go, eat in our parking lot. Though it appeared that a waitress was serving coffee. This was in a small mountain town. It's barely warm enough to eat outside.
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