The restaurants in downtown Valparaiso are often considered to be the heart of Valparaiso. It was their spirit of community that was the impetus to our fabulous downtown, including all the amazing festivals and events. They provide live music, outdoor dining, and a warm smile whenever you need a friend. Valparaiso may lose many of these remarkable restaurants…unless we act. This article looks at 5 ways you can help our Valpo restaurants survive the coronavirus.
Keeping the heart of Valpo beating!
Jon Costas once said the city is a body, and the downtown is the heart. If the heart is strong, Valparaiso is strong
The reality of the situation is that many of these restaurants will not survive. Call it the natural progression of the restaurant business, but every winter is difficult for the restaurants to make it through. When the weather gets frightful, these restaurants slow down and still maintain the costs of keeping their servers and cooks employed. The restaurants depend on a strong spring to rejuvenate and make it through the year. The impact of coronavirus (COVID – 19) will leave devasting consequences upon the restaurants, their employees, and their families.
Every restaurant in Valpo needs your support…. we’re all in this together. Yesterday, we held an emergency meeting at Don Quijote that included restaurants from Valpo’s Northside, Eastside, and Southside.
Despite the tremendous fear and pressure these restaurants are facing, it reminded me why Valparaiso restaurants consist of a remarkable group of people.
Many of our downtown restaurants won’t survive this!
It was discussed at the onset of the meeting that it is inevitable that Valparaiso will lose some of its favorite and most cherished restaurants. In the face of such adversity, the owners and Chefs were more concerned about their employees and their families.
Each restaurant shared possible ideas and solutions.
It was humbling to see so much selfless generosity.
Carlos from Don Quijote suggested that all the restaurants become unified and share solutions via social media and other digital mediums. Sophie and Louie from Martini’s welcomed all the restaurants to utilize their giant freezer to preserve frozen products.
Patty from Old World Market mentioned her classification as a grocery store made her exempt from closing, and suggested the restaurants could sell their sauces through her store.
Chris from Radius and Danny from Furin Japanese shared ideas that would promote selling gift cards but were very concerned this would not offer adequate support for their employees.
City support is curbed with good ideas
While discussing how the restaurant community might mitigate this crisis, Mayor Murphy and City Administrator, Mike Jessen, joined the meeting to discuss plans to support the restaurants. One solution proposed was to reserve parking for curbside pick-up in front of the downtown restaurants so that customers would be encouraged to support the restaurants while practicing social distancing.
The restaurants have always been there for Valpo…now its time for Valpo to be there for the restaurants
Indeed, many restaurants will not make it through these difficult times, but as a community, we can help many that might not make it without our community support. If we all make a conscious decision to support these remarkable people, we can help our chefs, cooks, and servers survive the crisis.
Its time we come together as a community and help resuscitate the heart of Valparaiso.
5 ways you can help the restaurants survive the coronavirus
#1 Curbside Food, Appetizer and Dessert Pick Up-
Special reserved parking in front of the restaurants was recently created just for curbside pickup- just call your order in and pull up for remarkable home dining. Nobody is cleaner than our Valpo Restaurants…and they’ve raised the bar to protect their friends and family in Valpo. Let’s help our friends get through this and get as much from them as possible!
Visit your favorite restaurant’s website for delivery options. Many restaurants are even using their staff to make deliveries, which means you’re also helping your favorite cooks and servers.
#3 Beer & Wine curbside carry-out
The ATC is granting a special carryout license for beer & wine to help our restaurants. Our restaurants are now applying for these and are getting permits in 24 hours. So the next time you’re in the mood for a great bottle of wine with your dinner….or stocking up on your favorite craft, buy it from the restaurants. I know I’ll do my part!
#4 Gift Cards-
Buying gift cards is a great way to show your love and support for our restaurants. Break new records for early Christmas shopping. Guys…now you’ll be ready when you forget that special anniversary. Buy gift cards for your favorite server, boss, employee, or lawn care guy (your welcome Steve Daly).
#5 Cash Donation to Restaurant’s Servers-
Your favorite restaurant’s cooks, servers and bartenders are always there to help you…this is a great way to serve them for a change. Someday, it will come back to you in many ways.
Article by Jim Jano Janesheski