Outdoor dining is a good idea…to a point.
In the Philadelphia region one of our more famed roads is Route 30. Route 30 is the third-longest U.S. route, running from New Jersey to Oregon. In many instances, it is also referred to as the Lincoln Highway.
More relevant to both my driving needs and this post, it cuts a path through several major cities and towns between the center of Pennsylvania and Philadelphia.
In recent years there has been a movement on the part of eating establishments to not only encourage outside dining on Route 30, but to “take it to the street.” Literally.
Now, in some circumstances this originally was a reasonable extension of one’s business. While the restaurants were street-side, the seating areas started out being to the side or even in the back of the establishment.
However, I have started to see some eateries creep out closer and closer to the highway…and right in my backyard now, there is an ongoing urge to actually seat diners in the road.
With all the distracted, drugged and drunk drivers we dodge while in our cars each and every day, I just can’t embrace the idea of anyone sitting down in the street to have a meal. And make no mistake, that’s exactly where some of these chairs are being placed.
Depending on the time of day, it truly could be one’s Last Supper.
All the fancy wrought iron railings and potted plants in the world aren’t going to stop Mrs. Mini Van or Mr. Dump Truck from taking you for the ride of your life…your last ride…being dragged down the street with wine goblet in hand.
Anyway…how can you enjoy a dinner on a glorified folding chair…sucking down exhaust fumes…screaming to be heard by someone three feet from you…nervously eyeballing traffic conditions?
The irony of being steamrolled while dining on the Lincoln Highway…by a Lincoln.
Yes, I do believe we’ve taken a great concept and pushed the envelope too far seating patrons in harm’s way.
That’s the view from where I’m sitting.