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Now is the Time for Buying Local, Here's Why

There are three great ways you can help keep our Downtown thriving. 

By Jane Sandwood


The current pandemic has impacted the restaurant industry in countless ways throughout Lincoln. While the restrictions enforced on eateries in Nebraska were not as severe as elsewhere in the country, the impact was still vast. Even though restaurants across the city started reopening from as early as May 11, they were restricted to 50 percent of their normal seating capacity. Even with all restrictions lifted it may still take a considerable period of time before it’s "business as usual." Thankfully, there are a number of ways in which even the most safety-conscious individuals can support the outstanding food-related establishments in the city.  

Book a table at a local restaurant

As of Monday, June 22, restaurants in Lincoln were able to once again seat a full house after months of limited operations. By booking a table at a local restaurant, patrons are not only helping to keep its doors open, but the local economy also enjoys a very welcome boost.  Despite the restrictions being lifted, some local restaurant owners are opting to take a more calculated approach towards reopening.

Eric Thiessen, owner of The Hub Café as well as Sara Brown from Rutabagas both exclaimed that they would not immediately jump to full capacity but rather test the waters first. Restaurants across the city have been commended for putting all the necessary measures in place to ensure that their employees and patrons are kept safe. Where needed, seating plans were changed completely to allow tables and chairs to be spaced in such a way as to adhere to social distancing protocol.

Make use of a delivery service

If you are not comfortable with sitting down in one of Lincoln’s esteemed restaurants to have a meal, consider making use of a delivery service. That way the eatery still benefits from your support and you can enjoy a scrumptious meal in the comfort of your home. There are a number of reputable food delivery services including Uber Eats as well as the locally-owned Metro Dining Delivery that can safely deliver food and drinks from many local restaurants. Orders for delivery can also be placed with Doordash or Grubhub or directly with a beloved restaurant.

Due to the implications of social distancing and self-isolation, an increasing number of local restaurants such as Country Sliced Ham and Café, Piedmont Bistro, and Honest Abe’s Burgers and Freedom are also offering a contact-free delivery service.

Buy a gift card

Another superb way to support the Lincoln restaurant industry is to buy gift cards to be used by either yourself or family members/friends at a later stage. When you buy a gift card from local restaurants, the money reaches their bank account almost immediately even if the gift card will only be used at a later stage. Apart from being a great every-day spoil, restaurant gift cards can also make great birthday, anniversary, or even Christmas presents considering that the festive season will be upon us in less than 5 months.

Another way to support a local restaurant is by purchasing or gifting a Downtown Lincoln Gift Card that can be used at more than 200 businesses, including restaurants and other food outlets.


Restaurants in Lincoln are once again able to operate at 100% capacity. As it may take a considerable amount of time for these establishments to recover their losses, it remains imperative for local businesses to receive the full support of the city’s residents.