Earlier than the pandemic, guests flocked to Willie Mae’s to do this Treme restaurant’s well-known fried hen. It appeared like there was all the time a line for tables.
Since Willie Mae’s reopened within the pandemic, locals lengthy acquainted with that hen can normally stroll proper in and sit down.
There’s a mixture of gratitude for the native help right here, and anxiousness for when extra enterprise may return. That about sums up the place many eating places stand proper now.
Future projections appear dire, with occasion and conference cancelations now extending properly into subsequent yr. Including to the angst are the complexities of attempting to attract extra guests whereas preserving the virus at bay.
By all of it, extra New Orleans eating places are nonetheless reopening, some for the primary time since March. Many clarify it as a now-or-never proposition, for ever and ever and no fast reduction on the best way.
However New Orleans eating places do have one factor they’ll nonetheless depend on, and it’s formidable. They will depend on New Orleans folks, with our famously strong urge for food for good meals and good dwelling, and the relationships we preserve via our eating places.
That’s why it’s essential to recollect simply what eating places are serving up, past scrumptious meals. To dine out once more proper now’s to really feel the restorative raise of convening across the desk, albeit on a restricted scale. If we ever thought we may take that as a right, clearly we are able to’t now, and simply sharing a meal, sharing a while comfortable, can really feel like a small victory.
The disaster has additionally underscored simply how far the cash New Orleans folks spend pursuing their culinary passions can go on this neighborhood. The fried hen the locals are consuming up at locations like Willie Mae’s doesn’t simply maintain the lights on for one more day. It circulates via the ecosystem of workers, suppliers and distributors, and ripples throughout the native financial system.
The New Orleans restaurant relationship goes deep, and as we’re seeing greater than ever now, it goes far past the desk.