While the coronavirus is indeed preventing so much of our everyday lives from happening as it used to, the innovation of policymakers, entrepreneurs and the guy who lives next door is very encouraging. Here, we take a brief look at some of what is happening in and around the SoHo neighborhood.
First, there was the launch of the Open Restaurants Program, which gives local restaurateurs the opportunity to serve customers outside by having seating in the streets and sidewalks. Thanks to the Mayor, this has become a permanent measure and will mean that people will still be able to enjoy eating out in a safe environment.
What’s also nice about it is that it has given other individuals – who ordinarily might not have offered food choices – to open up pop-ups. Plus, as the city hopefully reopens, indoor dining capacity could go up to as much as 50 percent as we move into winter. However, in the meantime, there are ways to make the outdoor areas not so cold – such as electrical heaters – under guidelines De Blasio outlined at the end of September. Any propane used will require a New York City Fire Department permit. All of these measures have enabled over 10,000 to reopen across the city with the help of architectural innovations and local governmental support.
For those who want to try one of these corona-safe eateries, one example is the Vestry. The new restaurant was opened by Shaun Hergatt in spite of coronavirus. He explained:
“It’s about time people celebrate and look for something positive. I want to have an outlet where you can go away from the craziness and get back to some normality for a while.”
Using locally-sourced fresh fish, Hergatt focuses on the simple approach which he learned growing up in Australia. As a boy he would go fishing with his grandparents and then grill the catch! Likewise at Vestry he uses binchotan charcoal giving the fresh fish a smoky flavor. Other items on the menu include chicken, beef, caramelized onion rice and more.