We caught up with 'Down the Hatch" owner Scott Parente ahead of the Memorial Day weekend to help folks get a feel of how the COVID-19 pandemic may alter their "Hatch" experience this summer. We checked back with him on Wednesday (May 27) after the Memorial Day weekend had come and gone to see how the weekend went, and here is what he had to say:

I had a feeling this is something we would start to encounter -- the disease is being politicized and folks are going to do it at the expense of small business. A restaurant should not be the front lines for your political views. This is not a place to educate the owner and employees on freedoms. All the people serving you food would like to get back to regular life as well.

If you think COVID-19 is a vast conspiracy, I'm more than willing to listen. In fact, I am your target audience. However, I already have a good idea of what you might say and I think it goes something like this:

  • COVID-19 was introduced to the Earth's population either in reality or as a concept for you to believe.
  • The stay at home orders and the fears that accompany them over a long enough timeline destroy the global economy, and most importantly, free markets.
  • Small businesses everywhere cannot survive.
  • With nowhere left to turn, people will be forced to rely solely on their government to provide them money, food, gas, etc and we are thrust into Communism.

Do I have that about right? OK, if that's how you feel, and the goal is to avoid Communism, keep small business moving, money flowing and the economy healthy, why are you disrupting a small business?

These businesses are attempting to feed people, entertain them and show them a good time. They are opening their doors under the most obnoxious and costly circumstances they've ever encountered to both please you and make money.

Put a mask on, be patient, be kind and spend a lot of money. This pandemic (experience) has been awful for everyone, and will continue to be for the foreseeable future, but we'll never get to go back to what we knew if don't support small business, keep everyone as safe as possible and treat one another with respect.

This is not a soap box thing. I'm not telling you, I'm begging you all to do your part. I'm not going to be spending as much time (money) out at restaurants or anywhere else if I keep hearing stories like this -- I won't expose my kids to it.  I'm not afraid of the coronavirus, it's all of you and your confrontations I refuse to be a part of.

I'm not alone in feeling that way and that means less money pumping into "Down the Hatch," the restaurant up the street, or your business. Really, how hard is it to treat someone trying to serve you nice meal with respect and decency?

Or whatever, everyone just do what they want. When Scott (and others) don't want to absorb the cost or deal with the aggravation, they shutter their doors. Next thing you know, Scott is in "Down the Hatch" behind a survival door with delicious food and lake views all to himself like a Greater Danbury Dwight Schrute. "You pound, you beg but I ignore your cries..."

P.S. - As good as Scott Parente is on the radio, he never wanted to do the Ethan & Lou Show, not because we are not friendly, but because he doesn't like doing these things. He's come on the air twice in the last two weeks. The first time I think he ultimately realized it was a good idea that he be the one to tell his customers things won't be business as usual, and the second (this time) was to speak not only for himself but other local restaurant owners.

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