Thanks to pleasant summer weather and a fairly dry autumn, people in the Seattle area have been able to comfortably dine outdoors at their favorite restaurants. In a time of pandemic with the coronavirus riding in the air, it may not have been the smartest thing to do, but it was relatively safe because of the natural ventilation offered by dining al fresco.

However, in the famous “Game of Thrones” catchphrase, winter is coming.

When the rains really hit, when nighttime temperatures drop into the chilly zone, outdoor dining is going to be far less appealing, even for the adventurous and reckless among us. And that means struggling local restaurants are going to be hit even harder than they have been. Some will survive by providing takeout, but certainly not all.

With all the good news about the imminent arrival of vaccines, there is real hope that next summer will be much closer to normal. It will be liberating to leave home and head out for a meal at one of Seattle’s fantastic dining establishments. The great disappointment may be that far too many of those restaurants will not have survived the dark, COVID-19-plagued winter.

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