"Bring your blankets," Brickside Food & Drink advises on-site diners who can eat al fresco on their heated terrace at 4866 Cordell Avenue in downtown Bethesda. It's the latest sign of changes restaurants are making to survive what may be the harshest winter yet in an already-hostile-to-business jurisdiction, where indoor dining has been banned by the government.
|Tent atop Tommy Joe's roof at|
Cordell and Norfolk Avenues
Tommy Joe's - which has the advantage of a fairly spacious rooftop - has a tent up there now, as Caddies has for some time around the corner. Pines of Rome, one of Bethesda's longest-running restaurants, announced it will now be open every day of the week; it previously would be closed on Tuesdays. Pines will also be open today and on New Year's Day.
|Shadows of diners can be|
seen inside the tent atop
Intrepid diners are being invited into the newest tent Bethesda Urban Partnership erected in Veterans Park. The Bethesda UP tents, unlike those operated by individual restaurants, are self-serve as diners carry their takeout orders and seat themselves. Health authorities have not definitely stated what the level of risk in outdoor tent enclosures is versus indoor dining, but have said that at least one flap of the tent should be raised. Bethesda UP has said it is opening two flaps on its tents.
This all comes after restaurateurs who challenged the Montgomery County government's ban on indoor dining in court were rebuffed by the Circuit Court judge, even as Anne Arundel County's ban was rejected by a judge who once served as a Republican on the Anne Arundel County Council. That decision has so far not been accepted as precedent by his peers in Montgomery, Prince George's County or Baltimore City.