Letter: Order Out and Save Larchmont and Other Downtowns

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“I don’t wish to envision a future where our downtowns are emptied of restaurants”

To the Editor:

I recently wrote two letters on the topic of ways to deal with long-empty storefronts in downtown Larchmont.   It triggered some good responses and discussion.  There is healthy disagreement on causes of and possible cures for the problem.  And that’s fine.  Hopefully more interest, input, and attention will speed some workable solution.

But I think what all of us in the community can agree on is: We don’t want more empty storefronts.

I am particularly concerned now about restaurants.  The latest pandemic control measures announced by Governor Cuomo have closed NY restaurants  for dining-in business.   Given that this could potentially go on for months, it poses a severe threat to restaurants’ existence.

In response, my wife and I plan to order takeout of some kind from a local area restaurant multiple times a week as long as this situation persists. Sometimes lunch. Sometimes dinner.  I invite others to support their local restaurants and do likewise.

I also think our municipal governments should work with local chambers of commerce and restaurant owners to organize high-visibility restaurant promotion and takeout displays at local supermarkets and perhaps train stations —- manned on a rotating basis by some of the wait staff from local restaurants.   These can be a simple table, or a stand or booth, or the tailgate of a car or van.  They should have takeout menus in abundance and a clear message. Don’t buy groceries for seven days. Include ordering takeout in the mix, at least a couple of times per week.

I don’t wish to envision a future where our downtowns are emptied of restaurants , or where only a few outposts of corporate chain restaurants survive.  Restaurants are the lifeblood of a community.

Christopher Bourdain
Larchmont

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