When the coronavirus pandemic shut down many restaurants across the country, owners knew that to survive they would need a creative (and safe) solution to keep serving their guests. Many owners went back to what was once a food service staple nationwide, drive-in's with carhop service. The popularity of carhop dining evolved in America in with the popularity of the automobile itself, predating the fast-food drive-through. "I always wanted to bring back the carhop," said Weiss, the owner of drive-in restaurant chain "Mel's". "It just transports you back in time back in the '50s. And when coronavirus first happened, I immediately thought: 'How can we provide the Mel's Drive In experience with only pick-up and delivery?' " So the rejuvenation of the carhop was born. With locations all over California and the west coast, Mel's has become very popular offering plenty of social distancing for burger hungry guests. My hope is that this fad takes hold here in the tri-state area and I can have the experience for myself. I'll take a cheeseburger, fries, and a chocolate shake please….
For years to come I'm sure everyone will be talking about the summer of 2020. I'm sure most of the discussion will be about all of the things that we DIDN'T do, compared to what we actually DID do. For parents, the challenge has been tough. Research conducted by Spin Master, a global children's entertainment company, has said that on average a family is missing out on 17 "events'" this summer due to COVID-19. This includes an average of two summer camps and two vacations, as well as six-day trips and seven playdates, as stated by the survey of 2,000 parents of school-aged children. Parents have been doing their best to keep children of all ages busy and stimulated throughout the Summer months. The research has also showed an increase in purchasing of toys that are both fun and educational in order to balance playtime and learning. With the constant questions about the return to school plans, parents have a tough road ahead with keeping these kids busy. Parents deserve HERO status for what they have gone through. The fact that I am a parent myself has given me an even bigger sense of gratitude for all of those who provide care for the children of this country. Hopefully moving forward into 2021 we will be able to get back to normal and finally get back to the summer activities that we all love….
When super star rock band Bon Jovi canceled its extensive 2020 summer tour due to the global pandemic, front man and global icon Jon Bon Jovi didn't waste a beat turning his focus to those in need in his own backyard. At his JBJ Soul Kitchen, a non-profit community restaurant in New Jersey, diners pay a meager cash donation that covers their meal and a meal for someone in need. And to say that Mr. Bon Jovi pitched I to help is an understatement. At the height of the virus he was working 5 days a week washing dishes at the restaurant. What a guy. In just a short 3 month time period the restaurant provided more than 7,800 to-go meals to individuals, families, community partners and frontline workers. "Our desire is to make sure that anyone who needs a meal knows that they can come and see us," Bon Jovi said, "and we'll provide them with that nutritious meal." Bon Jovi even wrote a song inspired by the spirit of those helping out others during these tough times called, "If You Can't Do What You Do, You Do What You Can". Bon Jovi plans to resume touring hopefully sometime in 2021, with a COVID-19 benefit concert in the works. I know I'll be there….
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