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What Reopening Looks Like Across America

From the Editor: Everything you missed in food news last week

The “Lao Table” takeout tray from Farmhouse Kitchen Thai
The “Lao Table” takeout tray from Farmhouse Kitchen Thai in San Francisco
Patricia Chang

This post originally appeared on May 16, 2020 in Amanda Kludt’s newsletter “From the Editor,” a roundup of the most vital news and stories in the food world each week. Read the archives and subscribe now.

There’s a lot going on this week so let’s just jump into the news.

Reopening: To keep track of all states, here’s a handy guide, with notable reopenings in South Carolina, Miami on Monday, Louisiana today, Virginia today but not Northern Virginia, and restaurants within Vegas casinos.

Permanent closures: Toro and Momofuku Nishi in New York; Highland Park Cafeteria in Dallas; Momofuku CCDC and The Source by Wolfgang Puck in D.C.; and eight restaurants in Atlanta.

— Here’s a guide to all the restaurant safety guides.

— Some creative reopening gambits not outlined: an intense air purification system and mannequins in the dining room.

— Meanwhile Berkeley will fully close its streets to create giant outdoor dining rooms, and the state of California will consider a law letting restaurateurs get out of their leases.

— Danny Meyer doesn’t expect to reopen his sit-down dining rooms until there’s a vaccine. Many other restaurateurs share his point of view.

— You’ve probably read that operating at anything less than 100 percent capacity will be financially unrealistic for many restaurateurs. Here a bar owner in Seattle does the math for us.

— Cannot recommend enough that you read this piece encapsulating the problems with our meat industry right now and how the pandemic exacerbated issues inherent in our current system.

An above shot of a pan pizza with square slices and pepperoni.
Pan pizza from Dough Daddy in LA
Farley Elliott

— In the world of delivery, Uber is considering acquiring Grubhub(maybe its best chance to save itself), and Chicago will require third-party apps to provide customers with itemized receipts explaining allfees charged to restaurants.

— What it feels like to be “essential” right now.

— Turns out Masa’s $800 sushi box is beautiful but disappointing.

— The Santa Barbara wine region is losing tourism dollars at the moment, but is poised to become a bigger destination as Californians eschew long-distance travel.

— Here are some drone shots of drive-thru lines across Los Angeles.

— The breaking down of hundred year-old icon Gem Spa.

— The prettiest takeout in San Francisco.

— LA is experiencing an underground pan pizza boom.

This week on the podcast

Daniel and I talk to Eater SF’s Eve Batey about Uber and Grubhub, Eater DC’s Gabe Hiatt about mannequins in dining rooms, and each other about the other biggest stories of the week.

Off Eater

  • Just work less, especially now. [Bloomberg]
  • While we’re all crying into our quarantinis, Nick Kokonas is raising millions for his tech platform Tock and boasting record sales days at one of the most expensive restaurants in America. [CNBC]
  • The U.S. Census surveyed small business owners, revealing the depth and severity of the impact of the pandemic across sectors and states. The portal is pretty easy to play around with if you want to dig in. [U.S. Census]
  • I would not mind joining Stanley Tucci’s quarantine horde, regardless of how he makes his negronis. [The Atlantic]