Food and drink: The food court dust-up; Rosenfeld’s, Big Fish head to S. Bethany; Downtown Wilm. dining promotion; SoDel’s giving day

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The Black Friday dust-up over photos showing crowded conditions at Christiana Mall’s food court laid bare the divide over Covid-19 restrictions and some people not taking the virus seriously.

The photos posted on the Delaware Restaurant Association’s Facebook page showed far too many bodies crowded into the food court, while others assembled while making or awaiting orders.

As is often the case in crowd scene photos, people were further apart than an initial view might suggest. Still, the food court scene had all the visual trappings of a spreading event with no masks, even among those who had finished their fast food.

State officials were flooded with photos with demands for action. It led to a rapid response in the form of a 100-person cap on the state’s food courts.

blankThe Restaurant Association has been taking on the Carney administration to task over the decision to lower restaurant capacity from 60 percent to 30 percent.

The restrictions came as Covid-19 cases have moved from 100 during the summer to 400 or more daily cases, with contact tracing efforts indicating that restaurants were a popular destination for those testing positive.

The restaurant industry disputes that claim and instead points to smaller get-togethers being the most significant factor.

A state-by-state Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report backed Delaware’s dining restrictions but did not get into specifics.

Then we had Facebook responses that were all over the map.

Reactions ranged from disgust at people mobbing the food court and state government accused of singling out the restaurant industry while allowing the mob scene to occur. Others took up the Restaurant Association’s cause.

Also chiming in were people who saw the affair as no big deal, with any restrictions infringing on personal liberties.

In other words, Covid fatigue and sharp political divisions were on display both at the food court and in response to the whole affair.

Rosenfeld’s, Big Fish head to South Bethany

Rosenfeld’s and Big Fish Restaurant Group announced plans via social media to move into space occupied by McCabe’s Gourmet Market for the past 34 years on Coastal Highway in South Bethany.
Operators of the market, who also own the shopping center, are retiring.
According to a social media post, the concept calls for a combined Big Fish Market, a Rosenfeld’s market selling deli staples, and a dine-in Rosenfeld’s deli.
Rosenfeld’s is partnering with Big Fish in adding locations. The Ocean City, MD, which also has a location near Rehoboth, recently opened a location at Big Fish’s restaurant complex near Wilmington Hospital.
Owners are shooting for opening by Memorial Day weekend.
SoDel’s Giving Tuesday
There’s still time to dine at one of the dozen SoDel Concepts restaurants on Giving Tuesday in coastal Sussex County.
All proceeds go to the company’s SoDel Cares charitable arm, a sizable donor in the Sussex County philanthropic community.
Take-out orders also qualify, no small matter, as restaurants are now limited to 30 percent capacity.

Berri Yummi to close doors.

Berri Yummi plans not to renew its lease at its north Wilmington location. As is often the case these days, the decision was first announced last month via Facebook.
Owners Lyman and Caroline Chen started the yogurt-dessert business ten years ago and at one point had two locations. The Pike Creek store closed several years ago.
One point of pride mentioned in the post was Berri Yummi offering 100 young people what was often their first job.
The current location will stay open through the end of the year and. Perhaps beyond that time, depending on traffic. The store
Lyman Chen remains busy, moving into acting roles over the years while also working in residential real estate.
Wilmington restaurant promotion continues
Downtown Visions will continue a restaurant promotion until the end of the year.
Dine atanyrestaurant within the Wilmington Downtown Business Improvement District; take a photo of your receipt, and send it, along with your name, dining location, and date, to Downtown Visions (DTV) at 302-502-6003.
Downtown will keep track of your purchases, and when five valid downtown restaurant receipts are submitted, DTV will text you the amount of your earned gift card (20 percent of total meals, before tip) and ask for the downtown business gift card you want as where to send it.Downtown Visions will then mail your gift card.
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