Hi, folks –

It’s been awhile.

But now here we are, dipping our toe back into the water.

Since the end of March, it made no sense to me to write about restaurants you wouldn’t be able to visit. That would be torture for foodies!

But…my antenna have been up and I’ve managed to tune into how restaurants are handling the pandemic. You may find it amusing.

First there are the baby-blue masks…and then are those fashionistas that color coordinate their masks with apparel. Others make their own, while some appear to mask up and celebrate the Carnevale di Venezia – the Venice Carnival.

SOCIAL DISTANCING…on the sidewalks…in the grocery store…even at Burger King (or maybe especially at Burger King).

And in the restaurants…

CAFÉ-KONDITOREI in Germany attached swimming pool noodles to straw hats as a social distancing measure.

Giant inner tubes solved the issue at FISH TALES BAR in Ocean City, Maryland.

At MEDIAMATIC ETEN, a vegetarian restaurant in Amsterdam, you can practice distancing by dining in your own private greenhouse.

If you want pandemic safety in Paris, visit H.A.N.D. restaurant near the Louvre and dine under your personal giant protective transparent lampshade suspended from the ceiling over your head and upper body.   It was created by noted French designer Christophe Gernigon.  He claims that his transparent dining pods actually enhance the dining experience by trapping in the food aromas.   HMMMM!….B as in B. S  as in S.

Now, as you already know, restaurants are required to eliminate roughly 50% of their tables to ensure distancing safety. But what to do with all those pesky unused tables?

In London, in Knightsbridge, bright red plush teddy bears occupy the forbidden seats and tables.

THE INN AT LITTLE WASHINGTON, a Relais & Château five-star, five diamond-rated restaurant located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, resolved the issue by dressing mannequins and seating them at the empty tables to make the restaurant seem full. A little creepy? I was just wondering.

And speaking of creepy, check out TRATTORIA DE LUIGI in Royal Oak, Michigan (just north of Detroit). Instead of achieving social distancing by removing tables, they’ve converted chairs into white-draped ghosts. Calamari with a side of Casper, anyone?

Even creepier: OPEN HEARTH in Greenville, South Carolina seats empty booths with blow-up dolls (no doubt mail ordered and delivered in plain brown wrapping paper – after all, what would the neighbors think?)

All amusing…all creative…some creepy…. and all bizarre.

It’s funny – but only the first time. Not so funny on the second visit.

No, I’m a firm believer that restaurants are where you go when you want to leave concerns, troubles, drudgeries, duties and worries in a pile by the door – a place where life changes the moment you step inside. It’s kind of like a little vacation from yourself.



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