On Letting the Air Out of Pop-Ups and Anticipating the Return of Indoor Dining

The Intelligence Brief is our weekly compendium of food and drink news sourced from outlets all over the world, including right here at home.

This past Friday came with news of 740 new cases of Covid-19. Decreasing case counts have also brought the 7-day rolling average to the lowest it’s been since March 29th. Numbers seem to be heading in the right direction and may suggest we’re coming through the other end of the province’s third wave. While current restrictions on indoor dining are still in place for another three weeks, we continue to cover how the industry is faring.

First up, as the pandemic persists, the effects of bar and restaurant workers only worsens: The Vancouver Sun reports.

Free pantries are popping up around the city in hopes of supporting folks facing increased food insecurity through the pandemic.

And speaking of which, Civil Eats details how the pandemic has severely impacted food security among immigrant communities.

For the countless folks that launched pop-ups during the pandemic, questions arise about the future as the restaurant industry hopes to move back to some semblance of normalcy.

“…a year into the pandemic, with vaccines available or soon to be available to all adults and many states lifting restrictions on business, successful pop-up proprietors have reached a crucial moment in a situation that from day one was conceptualized as temporary. Some are considering whether they want to put down roots as a permanent full-time business, leave what they built and go back to working for others, or try to balance in the middle by finding a steady job while running the pop-up as a side hustle.”

Speaking of a slow return to normalcy, epidemiologists in the US are still hoping folks will wait for increased vaccinations before heading back to indoor dining:

“The way epidemiologists currently look at dining — indoor dining specifically — is different from the way most of us probably look at it. They see a full dining room and think about the prolonged amount of time people are spending together unmasked, eating and talking and laughing and sending tiny particles into the air.”

And while locally, indoor dining is still on pause, it’s never too soon to review some helpful tips from Grub Street on best practices to follow once it does return. It’s a good time for sharing such tips as New York has announced that it will fully reopen as of July 1st.

While you’re waiting for indoor dining to return, consider this apple and fennel salad from Farmer’s Apprentice for your next take-out order.

A few things to look forward to! First up: the folks behind Bao Bei ad Kissa Tanto have announced a new project set to open later this year.

Next, new high-concept Mexican restaurant Alimentaria Mexicana is bound for the former Edible Canada space on Granville Island.

In a follow-up to last week’s story regarding local food truck Shameless Buns’ woes, the City of Richmond has announced that they will be revoking the licenses of not one, but two trucks!

Former employees of Lummi Island’s Willows Inn have come forward detailing experiences of racism, sexual harassment and homophobia while working for the well-known restaurant.

Grub Street shares some additional details on the allegations against Blaine Wetzel and other Willow’s Inn Staff.

Bon Appetit’s Jenny Feldt shares how she sees vaccine access affecting the mental health of some hospitality workers who’ve been able to get their dose.

“It feels like we’re collectively breathing a big sigh of relief and starting to get back to how things used to be. I’ve been a huge proponent of getting hospitality workers vaccinated as soon as possible, and while I haven’t been able to get my first shot due to health reasons, just knowing that it’s readily available provides some sense of comfort.”

Finally, Washington, DC chef Rob Rubba envisions options for take-out containers that are at least a little less terrible for the environment.

There are 2 comments

  1. Correction: You mean “ Civil Eats”, not “Civil East”.

On Rallying to Spread Stupidity and Restaurants Jealous of Food Trucks

In her latest read of the food and drink headlines, Talia finds wasted food and a world running out of bubble tea.

On Running Out of Ketchup and Wounded Restaurants Bracing for More Bad News

In her latest read of the food and drink news, Talia finds workers in short supply and restaurateurs swapping stories of woe.

On Closing Ancient Food Halls and Dumb Customers Making Bad Situations Worse

In her latest read of the food and drink headlines, Talia finds scientists drinking wine and rule breakers getting owned.

On Waiting Out Another Crippling Wave and Feasting to Support Restaurants in Crisis

In her latest read of the food and drink news, Talia finds rules being broken and new ways to stretch grocery bucks.