Dreams on Hold…Now What

Today’s Press Herald takes a look at the special challenges being faced by restaurateurs whose restaurants were open briefly or just slated to open moments before the pandemic slammed into the Maine restaurant industry.

For several weeks now, the coronavirus pandemic has pummeled dining rooms in Maine and around the country – with no end yet in sight. And while some restaurants have been able to turn to curbside takeout, many have closed for the interim. “The uncertainty of it is agonizing,” Raquel Stevens said. In an interview with the New York Times in late March, internationally known chef/restaurateur David Chang predicted that small independently owned restaurants, exactly the sort that make Portland such an exciting restaurant city, will have “a morbidly high death rate.”

Perhaps none are more at risk than the newcomers. And perhaps none are more determined to beat the odds.