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Reader: Support Local Restaurants, No Matter How You Do It

Dimestore Delibar's market came in handy at the start of the pandemic.
Dimestore Delibar's market came in handy at the start of the pandemic.
Mark Antonation
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More than 200 restaurants opened in metro Denver last year by Mark Antonation's count, which he shared this past week in "Restaurant Roll Call: Every Opening and Closing in 2020." And despite the problem that the pandemic added to an already challenged dining industry, the number of eateries that closed in 2020 wasn't much higher than in 2019.

But that doesn't mean restaurants are doing well. Many eateries have decided to hibernate for the next few weeks, maybe even months, and although dining rooms across Colorado were allowed to reopen this week, they can only operate at 25 percent capacity, with many other safety precautions because of the pandemic. Even so, fast-food locations, in particular, are not immune, as evidenced by recent In-N-Out Burger outbreaks.

As they have been since the arrival of COVID-19, readers remain divided on government, business and personal approaches to the pandemic, as evidenced by comments posted on Westword's Facebook page. Says Garrett:

Good thing you and every other Denver news source spent so many months promoting a garbage fast-food franchise from California. All the Colorado-based restaurants that have closed thank you.

Adds Kristi:

If In N Out Burger can stay open with 122 positive cases among their two (Aurora and Colorado Springs) store staffs, restaurants that have had no issues all year most certainly should reopen.

Suggests Jonathan:

Oh my!! Let’s clutch our pearls and wring our hands. We all have such naughty, naughty neighbors. Let’s lock everyone down again and stay that way till all these naughty naughty people submit to the state. Ooooo such naughty naughty naughty......bad neighbors.

Rae puts it more simply:

I’m so ready for some normalcy...let’s get on with life.

Responds Lynne:

I’m super happy with my takeout with giant tips, for now. This nonsense with restaurants & schools marching into a disaster with the inevitable Christmas surge yet to be felt, is sooooo reckless!

Adds Nathan:

Just compare a state WITH indoor dining to a state without. Arizona (with indoor dining) 8,995 new cases on January 2. Colorado (without) 2,097 new cases on January 2.

It's not rocket science, but some of you morons treat it like it is.

Concludes Jay: 

I don't care how you support local restaurants, but just make sure you do. If you don't feel okay about dining indoors, order takeout. Or order delivery, but only at a restaurant that does the delivery itself, so you're not paying a cut to a third-party business.

We all need to help the Denver dining industry make it through this!

Are you dining indoors? Ordering takeout? Delivery? What restaurants are you supporting? Post a comment or email your thoughts to editorial@westword.com.

And see our list of all the openings and closings in 2020 here.

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

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