On a short Thursday drive to deliver food, yes that's right, Charred now does home delivery, I noticed some of the longest lines I had ever seen to pick up takeaway from the string of fast food outlets scattered along the Mitchell Highway. Whilst I was reliving the last time I was food delivery driver, some 20 odd years ago at Eagle Boys Tamworth, I became frustrated.
In the grips of an international pandemic, people become scared and depressed. National and state governments have attempted measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Pubs and registered clubs were forced to close along with restaurants and cafes being reduced to takeaway. It forced thousands of my peers around the country into an unemployment line and even successful venues forced to shut their doors. While many of us remain open, the delivery and takeaway model has limited success for those venues not already established.
Without rent freezes or stimulus packages there may be no restaurants left in Orange when things turn for the better. Those that are left will most likely consist of poker machines or have originated in North America.
If you do find yourself in the position to buy yourself a treat on a Saturday night, call past your local restaurant and grab some takeaway. Wineries are offering free delivery in number of cases (please check amounts) and even restaurants have turned to retail methods to offload their wine lists.
Restaurants that have switched to takeaway model include:
Charred Kitchen and Bar: Offering a takeaway and delivery, including wine and beer. If you're unfortunate enough, I'll be your delivery driver.
Lolli Redini: Simonn Hawke is a maestro of minestrone and is offering it takeaway, along with other delicious goodies, as well as delving into their wine list. Charred and Lolli's may be wonderful rivals but it is for the benefit of Orange they are both here in six months.
The Union Bank: The young talented crew that have reopened the UB were just finding their groove. They are doing some items from as cheap as $6 takeaway and have opened the Byng Street side as a bottle shop.
Sweet Sour Salt: Ivan has been perfecting home delivery service for top-tier Asian inspired dishes for a couple of years now. Perhaps no other restaurant is set up to deal with this situation better.
Mr Lim: I couldn't think of anything scarier than having not one restaurant, but three of them. Sammy's story is a magnificent one of rags to riches and passion has seen him successfully open restaurants to boost the quality of the town's dining options. Look for his five spice duck pancakes on takeaway.
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