Downtown is an exciting place these days, with restaurants opening up to expanded outdoor dining.

Four years ago, I wrote a letter to The Sentinel, advocating Keene consider allowing eateries to place more tables outside and encourage patrons to enjoy this European style of dining. Some baby steps were taken. But then boom — the coronavirus hit and businesses adapted. I never dreamed it would take a contagion to cause this to bloom.

Go for a walk and see for yourself. With a mask. See friends and be seen. Enjoy watching others dining. Dine yourself!

Of course, I have a recommendation to make this even better. Post menus outside in attractive plexiglass display cases, like they do in New York City. List the offerings and the prices. When I stayed at a friend’s apartment down on Houston Street in the East Village, one of my favorite activities was to look at the displayed menus.

As it is now in Keene, you sit at a restaurant’s table and the waitstaff brings you your menu. You are committed to that one place before you even see the offerings. This increases brand loyalty to the one, but why not consider others? Why not post the menus outside?

Open up people’s options. Consider this for Keene, too.


17 Center St.