A streetery on Bethesda Row. Photo by Skip Brown

Editors' Pick

Best Way to ‘Dine Out’

The COVID-19 pandemic gave new meaning to the term “dining out.” With social distancing restrictions limiting the number of patrons that restaurants could serve indoors, diners took to the streets. Starting in June, roadways shut down and “streeteries” popped up in Bethesda, Silver Spring, Wheaton, Rockville and Takoma Park. The idea—closing certain roads to vehicles and letting restaurant customers dine at tables set up on streets and sidewalks—became a lifeline for local restaurants, allowing them to continue business even if their dining rooms were closed or limited in capacity. The streeteries, with tables spaced 6 feet apart and limited to six people at a table, per the state’s regulations, gave diners the communal experience of dining out socially after months of staying home. Some restaurants offered table service outdoors. At others, diners could order takeout and seat themselves. When temperatures began to fall, restaurants and organizations adapted. Some provided heaters or tents. Others encouraged customers to BYOB—bring your own blanket.