Dining out post-quarantine

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Hello everyone,

Last night we dined out for the first time since mid-March to celebrate a friend’s birthday. The choice was the patio at Harry’s Savoy Grill in north Wilmington.

Our last birthday celebration had been at Harry’s in early March. It now seems like years ago.

The trip up I-95 shows we are far from the new or old normal. Traffic was eerily light in the early evening on I-95 and Foulk Road.

A while back, Harry’s and Kid Shelleen’s owner Xavier Teixido did an informal poll on whether diners would return when Delaware reopened. The results were all over the map.

Some said it will be a while before they venture out. Others would have immediately shown up if the stay at home order suddenly gone away.

In our comments, we said we would return to Harry’s knowing that things would be done the right way. That was indeed the case. Reservations are required to eliminate lines and all protocols, including masks, were in place.

To no one’s surprise, the food and service were excellent By 7 p.m., the day’s heat and heat and humidity had moderated. It was nice to feel that occasional air-conditioned blast from the dining room as staff brought food and drink.

While Wednesday is not the busiest night at restaurants, Harry’s seemed to have ample seating. By the time we left, the patio was empty.

Restaurants face the daunting task of waiting for nervous diners to return while dealing with limits on the capacity.

On this coming Monday, fire code capacity limits will be raised from 30 to 60 percent. For now, the higher limits may not provide a big boost, but may allow more revenue on weekend nights.

Overall, it was a great evening as we shared our lockdown stories while taking a break from home cooking and Hello Fresh food packages.

Thanks, Harry’s. It may be a while before we return. There are other restaurants to patronize, but you earned an A on our first visit out. –Doug and Sharon Rainey

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