Ian McNulty

Every time I walk into a dining room now I pause and take a good look around. Then I remind myself to take a photo, for posterity. The images of New Orleans dining rooms as they reopen are snapshots of these strange times, with tables scant and spaced, the staff wearing face masks. Some people have told me the photos look depressing. But that's not how these dining rooms actually feel after taking a seat in them.

Patrick Madden / WWNO

Before the coronavirus, people would line the block waiting to get a table at Willie Mae’s Scotch House, a Treme neighborhood restaurant that serves world-famous fried chicken. Now the block sits quiet — the dining room closed indefinitely and line-forming a dangerous act.

How Restaurants are Dealing

May 22, 2020
Ian McNulty

The coronavirus fight has been brutal for the New Orleans hospitality industry, with massive job losses and sudden business closures. Looming over it all, there’s anguished foreboding for what this part of our community will look like on the other side of this.

And yet there is hope. And that hope is us.

Ian McNulty

You can hear New Orleans cheering each time another of its favorite restaurants reopens in the coronavirus crisis. What I’m dreading is when New Orleans hears a different sound: the dull thud of the other shoe dropping.