Not too long ago, I found out I had eaten my last meal at my favorite restaurant.
Many of the most important nights of my life had been spent at Streetfood Asia. It was the first restaurant I ate at in Albuquerque (and probably played a part in my decision to attend the University of New Mexico), it was where I took my girlfriend on our first date, and it was where I went for dinner on my 21st birthday. I used to make the 20 minute walk there at least once a week while I was living on campus. I always thought it would be where I’d eat the night I graduated from college, but now I’m about to graduate and Streetfood is no longer an option. I loved that restaurant and finding out that it had closed was devastating.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot recently because it’s something that many people around the country might have to experience soon. COVID-19 has been nightmare for businesses everywhere and local restaurants could be the businesses that end up hit the hardest. With social distancing restrictions, changing hours, and people trying to save money, this is a really tough time for locally owned restaurants. It stands to reason that the longer this drags on, the worse the situation is going to be for many restaurants.
This all brings me to my point. If you are worried about whether or not one of your favorite restaurants will still be there when stay-at-home orders are lifted, now is the perfect time to give them your business. Just a little bit of extra business might be the what it takes to make sure the place you want to go when the world opens up again is still there.
For me, this desire to keep the rest of my favorite restaurants around has led me to entirely avoid chains and pick out a local restaurant every week to patronize in the hopes that I won’t be losing another place I love this year.
I hope none of you lose any of the restaurants that are special to you because of this pandemic. You can do your part to hopefully keep these businesses afloat or you’ll at least get to enjoy one last meal from your favorite restaurant. Either way, you’ll get some good food out of the deal.