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Question of the day

Friday, May 29, 2020

* I love this country

Edwin Ramirez, the 15-year owner of 201 Stylez on Park Avenue [in New Jersey], has rolled out “Shields on Wheels” to help keep clients and their barbers safe during a cut.

Ramirez, who was forced to close his barbershop in March, came up with the idea for a plexiglass shield while working at a carpentry shop he also owns, Pix11 reports.

The shield contains a cutout large enough for the barber to fit their hands and tools through, and is on wheels, so the barber can work around a client’s head.

Ramirez is working on a concept for hair salons and has already been contacted by other barbers looking to order a set of shields.

* Here’s the prototype…

Click here to watch a video.

* And I’ve always been partial to Amsterdam

A Dutch restaurant has come up with an idea on how to offer classy outdoor dining in the age of coronavirus: small glass cabins built for two or three people, creating intimate cocoons on a public patio.

Waiters wear gloves and transparent face shields, and use a long board to bring dishes into the glass cabins to ensure minimal physical contact with customers.

While the concept is currently being trialed only for family and friends of staff from the ETEN restaurant, which is part of the Mediamatic arts centre, it certainly looks glamorous, as diners enjoy candle-lit meals with a waterside view.


* The Question: Do you have any ideas to make public spaces and services more accommodating? They don’t have to be brilliant inventions. Just stuff you’ve noticed over the past couple of months that could be improved or changed.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - GV - Friday, May 29, 20 @ 10:40 am:

    Implement methods to change restaurant service from proactive serving to reactive serving. Much like Brazilian steakhouses give you a token to show whether you want more meat or not, places with seated guests could have a flag stand at each table with a flag that could be put in it. When the flag goes up, the server comes, provides service, and lays the flag down. When I’m ready for another drink, need my plates cleared, etc. the flag goes up. It could go a long way towards removing service steps that aren’t generally necessary, but generally expected in pre-covid dining.

  2. - The Captain - Friday, May 29, 20 @ 10:42 am:

    If the Dutch don’t go to dinner dressed like a mild mannered reporter and then come out dressed as Superman then they blew it.

  3. - @misterjayem - Friday, May 29, 20 @ 10:43 am:

    Seems to me that restaurants now serving half as many customers at a time would only need half as many parking places, so any restaurant with a parking lot that isn’t half-converted into some kind of beer-garden is probably leaving quite a bit of money on the table.

    – MrJM

  4. - Sterling - Friday, May 29, 20 @ 10:44 am:

    Complimentary hand sanitizer and masks are just about all you need.

  5. - cermak_rd - Friday, May 29, 20 @ 10:45 am:

    for things like oil changes, have a text chat conversation with the technician instead of a face to face conversation through the car window.

  6. - Chatham Resident - Friday, May 29, 20 @ 10:48 am:

    Drive thru at all restaurants.

    And fast food restaurants expanding the number of drive thru lanes that they have. Which might mean that some of them have to rebuild entirely at a new location (the McDonald’s in Chatham comes to mind as they had drive thru lines all the way to Route 4 at peak times even pre-pandemic).

  7. - @misterjayem - Friday, May 29, 20 @ 10:48 am:

    “Complimentary hand sanitizer and masks are just about all you need.”

    And food and a license to sell it are just about all you need to open a restaurant ā€” but that doesn’t mean it would stay open very long.

    – MrJM

  8. - Wensicia - Friday, May 29, 20 @ 10:58 am:

    It would be nice if more establishments could serve you in your car without having to go through a drive-thru, like some fast food places from the past. You park and place your need or order over a speaker, and staff deliver. Put the parking lot to use with out the added expense of constructing sheltered booths or terraces. (With all due respect to Mr.JM’s excellent idea.)

    This is not limited to food service; it could include other small businesses as well.

  9. - Six Degrees of Separation - Friday, May 29, 20 @ 10:59 am:

    I’m waiting for the “Cone of Covid”.

  10. - Chatham Resident - Friday, May 29, 20 @ 11:00 am:

    Also, this may be controversial, but in the wake of the pandemic I would like to see a ban on on-premise smoking by any and all employees who work in food service, stores, and other establishments which handle food and other items for human consumption. Not even during their breaks.

    I had to go to a grocery store wearing my mask last week (the store is unnamed). And even through my mask the odor of a nearby employee’s fresh cigarette smoke strongly eminated. I nearly gagged. That’s a health hazard in itself.

    In short, it needs to be either “cigarettes or job” for some of these service employees especially during this pandemic.

  11. - cermak_rd - Friday, May 29, 20 @ 11:08 am:

    faceshields. Any fingernail technician or hairdresser (not using shields on wheels or other screening) should be using a faceshield.

  12. - {Sigh} - Friday, May 29, 20 @ 11:08 am:

    = Ramirez, who was forced to close his barbershop in March, came up with the idea for a plexiglass shield while working at a carpentry shop he also owns, Pix11 reports.=

    {Sigh} instead of suing the Governor of New Jersey, this business owner came up with a concept to protect his clients and himself. Instead of focusing on $$, businesses in Illinois need to be like Ramirez. Provide a safe environment and clients will come back.

  13. - Rachel - Friday, May 29, 20 @ 11:18 am:

    I thin both ideas are great but how the heck do you disinfect them quickly and quietly between customers?

  14. - the Patriot - Friday, May 29, 20 @ 11:24 am:

    Web based waiting lists. Instead of sitting in a waiting room like cattle, just post numbers online as your number gets close come in.

    Can also be used for the cattle calls on court days. Stop putting 60-80 people in a courtroom, just post the list of cases and as you mark on off another person comes in. Basically you could just steal the track wrestling program and use it for any of this.

  15. - Socially DIstant watcher - Friday, May 29, 20 @ 11:24 am:

    It’s Friday, so…

  16. - Just Me 2 - Friday, May 29, 20 @ 11:26 am:

    My gym is moving most of its equipment to its parking lot every morning at dawn, and then back inside at dusk. They’re instructing their members to run to the gym instead of driving (because the gym is all about exercise after all).

  17. - @misterjayem - Friday, May 29, 20 @ 11:27 am:

    I’m all for Wensicia’s idea ā€” I just want to see those sprawling resident parking lots better used.

    – MrJM

  18. - Joe Bidenopolous - Friday, May 29, 20 @ 11:44 am:

    That Amsterdam thing isn’t necessarily new. You’ve been able to eat in pods along the Chicago river waterfront in winter for a few years now. I’d think they’d get pretty darn hot in summer though.

  19. - lake county democrat - Friday, May 29, 20 @ 11:45 am:

    Airlines should buy and give fliers p/100 masks and goggles - PITA but they are reusable and more effective than even N95 masks.

  20. - lake county democrat - Friday, May 29, 20 @ 11:46 am:

    (PS - I love this question - creativity isn’t just for “experts” and sometimes this is all it takes to untapp potential.)

  21. - Cheryl 44 - Friday, May 29, 20 @ 11:46 am:

    You guys are making me wonder if Superdawg is open.

  22. - 32nd Ward Roscoe Village - Friday, May 29, 20 @ 11:54 am:

    I understand from my son that Superdawg was open just a little while back–I hope it still in. Until I saw Cheryl44’s comment, I was going to mention Superdawg having the great set up. I hope they are going gangbusters.

  23. - Streator Curmudgeon - Friday, May 29, 20 @ 11:56 am:

    Many years ago a coworker wondered why someone had not invented a haircut vending machine that you could stick your head in and get a quick trim.

    He was completely serious and it was all I could do to keep a straight face.

  24. - Chatham Resident - Friday, May 29, 20 @ 11:59 am:

    Streator–I shudder at such an idea (haircut vending machine). Not to mention the high risk of a large number of lawsuits that the manufacturers of such a machine would likely face.

  25. - 47th Ward - Friday, May 29, 20 @ 12:08 pm:

    ===(haircut vending machine)===

    I’m pretty sure the Flowbee made the vending machine concept obsolete.

    If necessity is the mother of all invention, venture capital is the father.

    Or maybe Ron Popeil is the father. I’m not really sure.

  26. - JoanP - Friday, May 29, 20 @ 12:18 pm:

    RE: “all restaurants should be drive-through” or “bring it to the parking lot” -

    I don’t know where you all live, but that probably eliminates the great majority of restaurants in Chicago, other than fast food places.

    Most restaurants don’t *have* parking lots or space for a drive-through.

  27. - Original Rambler - Friday, May 29, 20 @ 12:21 pm:

    A local bar and grill is busy building a deck over what was a small adjacent parking area off the street. The local village undoubtedly had to approve this since it is right off a side street. Good to see such cooperation and initiative.

    This whole idea of closing streets for al fresco dining is great. Plus the insects appear to be cooperating so far this year.

  28. - Sayitaintso - Friday, May 29, 20 @ 12:21 pm:

    A wise entrepreneur will be looking beyond today, and wonder how this keen invention can be re-purposed after the primary cause of its being has passed. The haircut screen could be used by conscientious street drug dealers Or used at Trumps upcoming nuclear bomb test. The glass houses will be used by all species of birds who wish to observe humans after they take over.

  29. - Rabid - Friday, May 29, 20 @ 12:49 pm:

    Setup a misting overhead water system for warm days

  30. - Responsa - Friday, May 29, 20 @ 1:02 pm:

    I’d like to see some ingenuity applied toward developing masks that would do the job for non-medical people who need/want to wear them for protection, but that are easier to breathe in. People are literally going to be passing out as the weather gets hotter this summer.

  31. - cermak_rd - Friday, May 29, 20 @ 1:11 pm:

    Rather than comfort, I’d like to see someone develop a mask that actually protects the wearer from the virus. The cloth masks are for me to protect others, but right now I have to rely on others to wear theirs to protect me.

  32. - lake county democrat - Friday, May 29, 20 @ 1:57 pm:

    there’s a website called you really need a haircut where you pay a barber/stylist to have a zoom conference or somesuch and they talk you through giving yourself a haircut. there’s a youtube video of an entire one outthere - lasts about 40 min.

  33. - Dotnonymous - Friday, May 29, 20 @ 2:07 pm:

    Hot Boxin’…Amsterdam style.

  34. - TinyDancer(FKASue) - Friday, May 29, 20 @ 4:02 pm:

    =Iā€™d like to see someone develop a mask that actually protects the wearer from the virus.=

    They already have one: the N95 respirator.

  35. - TinyDancer(FKASue) - Friday, May 29, 20 @ 4:07 pm:

    Schools are closed.
    Schools have kitchens.
    Schools have parking lots large enough to accommodate tables.
    Restaurants without outdoor seating areas could move into schools.

  36. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Friday, May 29, 20 @ 4:30 pm:

    Bring back the automat.

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