Come Together?

Was social distancing the death knell for the community table?

Wood texture table top with blurry gold lights in restaurant
The community table: public health hazard or convivial companionship? / Copyright: hakinmhan

The community table has long been divisive. For some, it was just a means to an end: seating. For others, it embodied the true essence of gathering. Has the pandemic given the shared space new life?

The ability to date and meet friends has been put on hold, so I’m feeling the energy with vaccinations ramping up. We’re looking forward to using our community tables and 360-degree bar once again. —Emily Cleghorn, Outer Range Brewing Co., Frisco

I don’t think it’s going anywhere. What brings us all together is community, and the beauty of dining in a restaurant is about being social and meeting new people and [trying] new foods. —Mary Nguyen, Olive & Finch, Denver

Initially, it might be slow to get back to [the community table], but I think people are ready to have food and drinks together. What better way to bring the community together than food? —Chris Schmidt, Craftsman, Edwards

The push to normalcy is there and I think this is a big part of that. If, after the pandemic is over, we keep staying six feet apart, the whole reason we’ve been doing this and been in the restaurant industry is essentially gone. —Christine Parisi, Parisi and Firenze a Tavola, Denver

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