A banquet follow up and the oldest tavern in Delaware

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Good afternoon,

A follow up to yesterday’s column on limiting banquets to 10 people, while overall restaurant capacity is capped at 50 percent.

I sent a question relating to Gov. John Carney’s weekly Covid-19 press over the thinking behind the restriction.

Carney acknowledged taking heat from the business community and is clearly unhappy with Maryland moving to the 50 percent occupancy figure across the board.

As things stand, some events will make their way across the state line and further damage a struggling hospitality industry.

Carney did open the door to a change if Covid-19 cases continue to decline.

More forceful in defending the restriction of Delaware Division of Public Health Director Dr. Karyl Ratty.

Rattay said smaller get-togethers continue to lead to spreading events based on the state’s contact tracing efforts.

According to Rattay, restaurants can better supervise dining rooms. It was also noted that those dining at the same table should live under the same roof.

We already know many parties of four sitting in the dining room living separately, and restaurants were never required to check IDs.

Looming in the background are events that included a Maine wedding.

The nuptials became a classic super-spreader that made its way around the state and contributed to the death of an older woman who was not in attendance.

One factor would work in favor of bringing back banquets – the formidable skills of managers and wedding planners who would come up with innovative ways to manage and police the proceedings safely.

Cantwell’s Tavern oldest taverns

On a lighter note, Cantwell’s Tavern in Odessa is claiming the title of having the oldest tavern in the state.

Its only rival is the Deer Park Tavern in Newark. Both are owned by the Ashby Hospitality Group, the company that helped preserve the Delaware landmarks.

24/7 Wall Street, which likes to run lists as a way to get clicks, lists Cantwell’s as dating back to 1822. Cantwell’s went on to operate for a century before reemerging in 2011. The tavern has a colorful history since Odessa was a seafaring town.

In a Facebook post, Cantwell’s highlighted the listing and took a gentle poke at Deer Park – commonly believed to be the oldest watering hole in the state.

It is possible that Deer Park could take the title of being the oldest continuously operated establishment.

Sadly, none of the Delaware taverns that dated back to colonial times and provided overnight lodging for founding fathers managed to survive waves of development in the state.

Enjoy your evening, stay safe and keep the snow shovel nearby. – Doug Rainey, chief content officer.

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