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Eastern Ontario couple hopes new dining trend catches on during COVID-19 pandemic
BROCKVILLE -- Most restaurants have been able to stay open during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic by offering take out and curb-side pickup to customers.
However, for a couple near Smiths Falls, when they order take out, its always cold by the time they return home.
“We always went out for supper Friday nights. It was our date night,” said Billy Onion of Franktown.
“He doesn’t like his meal cold so he was worried if we picked it up and brought it home it’d be cold,” said Vicki-Lynn Cassidy.
“Somebody suggested just eat it in the parking lot,” Cassidy said laughing
“And Billy said ‘ok I’m going to set up the truck and we’ll just have dinner right in the truck in the parking lot!’”
They loaded up a table and chairs into their Ford and headed to the Thruway Restaurant in Carleton Place.
“When we got there and got set up, the owner of the Thruway loved it!” said Onion.
”We’ve even got a reserved parking spot there for us now! It was a lot of fun.”
“We’ve got the tablecloth, we’ve got the antlers for a nice table setting and a candle for the mood,” added Cassidy
When they were dining at the Thruway, passers by on Highway 7 had to have another look.
“People were turning around on the highway and coming back and talking to us and taking our picture and posting it on social media,” said Onion.
“People will stop and ask us what are you doing...is it an anniversary? Is it a special occasion? And we’re like no, we’re just out for dinner! This is what we do,” said Cassidy
They have also been to restaurants in Perth and Smiths Falls, and plan to hit more places in the coming weeks in Kingston and the Muskoka region.
When CTV News Ottawa caught up with them, they had ordered from Ger-Bo's in Smiths Falls, but could not eat in front of the restaurant since Main Street is under construction.
So they sat in the shade at Victoria Park and ate overlooking the Rideau Canal.
“It promotes local business,” said Onion.
“We try and find a new place every time. Usually a family business. A lot of restaurant owners are hurting even with delivery they have to pay for the delivery so that cuts into their profit margins,” he added.
“We’d just like to see more people get out and just throw a table in the back of your car or truck and set up right in the parking lot,” said Onion.
“It's the simplest thing in the world,” added Cassidy.
“Most people out there are having take out and so why not do it this way and be outside,” she said.
“We hope it will bring attention to local restaurants and local businesses that were really struggling the last couple months.”
The couple say it is the perfect way to social distance, and they are having fun doing it.
“Everybody gets a kick out of it and they cheer us on and they say positive things.” Cassidy said
“I'm having a lot of fun!” added Onion, laughing.