On Monday, the city of Seattle released a new interactive map tool to help diners find restaurants still open for takeout and delivery during the statewide stay at home order. The map allows people to search by restaurant name or zip code, or drop a pin to pull up information about the places in the immediate area. It then pulls up basic information about each restaurant and the services it offers, plus any links to third-party delivery apps, such as Uber Eats or DoorDash, if they’re available.
Restaurants can still add their information into the database to show up on the map by emailing email@example.com (there’s a short survey as part of the vetting process). Right now, the map shows places as far north as Shoreline and as far south as Burien, but there’s no geographical cutoff. The initial list of around 500 restaurants reflects some of the outreach the city did for its data, which included looping in groups such as the Greater Seattle Business Alliance and the Seattle Restaurant Alliance.
It’s also part of a larger campaign that Mayor Jenny Durkan’s office has helped launch with the hashtag #SupportSeattleSmallBiz, asking local diners to post pictures and videos from their favorite restaurants, bars, and cafes that are doing delivery, to-go, and drive-thru. It was meant to ease the burden on many city businesses hurting economically due to measures to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Durkan herself tweeted out a photo of her getting takeout from Marination on March 19. Although a week later, the entire Marination chain announced it would be stopping takeout and delivery out of safety concerns.
That just highlights the difficulties facing many restaurants in the area as they try to determine whether staying open with limited hours and services is the right decision during a public health crisis. Last week, Gov. Jay Inslee indicated that the stay at home order — in effect until April 8 — could be extended longer, which means restaurants are facing an indefinite period in limbo. And though the $2.2 trillion federal stimulus package includes some small business lifelines, many area chefs and owners have voiced serious concerns over aspects of the bill they feel fall short of helping independent restaurants.
In the meantime, the citywide map could prove to be useful in the coming weeks. It joins a growing list of others organizing information about takeout and delivery, including the Intentionalist (which highlights businesses owned by people of color and the LGBTQ+ community), the Seattle Times, Catch22 Delivery (a platform launched by the owner of Piroshky Piroshky), the blog Eat, Drink, Travel, Ya’ll, the website Down Home Seattle, and several neighborhood blogs (such as GreenLaker, Capitol Hill Seattle, and West Seattle Blog). Here’s Eater Seattle’s running list as well.