New initiative: Support Hingham restaurants on TakeOut Tuesday!

Photo courtesy of Michele Friedman

January 17, 2021 by Carol Britton Meyer

After reading a Hingham Hub post in early January encouraging families to support struggling local restaurants by ordering takeout, Hingham resident Amy Cowan created "TakeOut Tuesday" to help get the word out.

"This call to action got me thinking," Cowan told the Hingham Anchor. "I was sure busy people, especially families, would welcome a break from the usual mid-week "What's for dinner?" scramble and would love the idea of supporting their favorite restaurants by ordering takeout. I thought about what might be the best way to help these small local businesses increase their revenue and marketing in a simple way, and that is how I came up with the idea."

Noting that many families already have a Friday pizza night or Saturday date night tradition, Cowan thought Tuesday would be a good day to help busy families with their dinner plans and for them to join others in a show of support for local restaurants.

Hingham graphic designer Michele Friedman donated her time and talent to create a logo in support of the initiative.

Photo courtesy of Michele Friedman

This is how TakeOut Tuesday works:

Participating families order takeout for one of their meals -- whether a smoothie at The Green Light on Station Street after a workout, bagel sandwiches for lunch from Bruegger's or Atlantic Bagel for hungry remote students, or salads and other favorites from Burtons Grille for dinner, as examples.

Photo courtesy of The Green Light

Those who would like to take part and support their favorite restaurants are asked to post on their personal Facebook or Instagram page to help spread the word and to tag the new Facebook page @takeouttuesdaysouthshore to make it easier for people to search and find new takeout ideas. Don't forget to include a hashtag with the name of the restaurant or a link to their website, too. And encourage friends to participate!

No one will be left out. "We realize this is a hard time for many families, including those who run our restaurants," Cowan said. "For anyone who would like to participate in the fun but is unable to do so at this time, feel free to send me a private message on Facebook or email me at"

Donations of gift cards for a family of four by any restaurant wishing to do so will be reserved for those who are struggling at this time or donated to the Hingham Food Pantry.

Restaurants able to participate in donating gift cards will be mentioned every Tuesday in a Facebook post, with a link to their websites.

An added bonus, Cowan said, is that once TakeOut Tuesday takes off, "we will look into raffling off gift cards to the people who post, after first donating to Hingham families in need."

With widespread community support, this effort will be successful and make a difference, Cowan said. "We encourage Hingham families to give our many different restaurants a try."

Restaurant owners share their experiences

The Hingham Anchor also talked with some Hingham restaurant owners to see how they are faring during this challenging time, especially since the season for outdoor dining has passed for the most part.

Brian Houlihan -- owner of the Trident Galley & Raw Bar at the Hingham Shipyard, The Parrot in Hull, and three other South Shore restaurants -- said it's getting "tougher and tougher each month that it grows colder to keep our staff on the payroll. People just aren't coming out, and business is absolutely down."

Photo courtesy of Trident Galley & Raw Bar

Trident offers takeout and delivery and indoor dining at a 25 percent capacity limit -- per order of Gov. Charlie Baker, a directive that was recently continued until at least Jan. 24.

"We're offering a limited menu to ensure everything we serve is fresh and in abundance," Houlihan said.  Among Trident's most popular winter offerings are short ribs, seafood stew, a different risotto every night, vegetarian specials, and pasta dishes. "These are all good for dining inside the restaurant, and they also travel well as takeout."

Now that 2021 has arrived, he said, "we're right now at the mercy of the government and the virus. We're expecting business to be super-quiet for the next couple of months until it gets warm again. As the owner of five restaurants, it's a balancing act every day."

Photo courtesy of Trident Galley & Raw Bar

Houlihan said the 25 percent restriction "makes no sense at all," because restaurant sizes and layouts vary greatly. "We were able to keep six feet between the tables at nearly 50 percent capacity. We're now at roughly 20 fewer inside seats, which is a big difference."

Moving forward, Houlihan is looking forward to participating in TakeOut Tuesday "and having people order from us." He also appreciates customer support.

Houlihan is among the many independent restaurant owners who last year joined with Massachusetts Restaurants United to make their voices heard at the State House in support of proposed legislation aimed at helping struggling local restaurants stay in business during these challenging economic times.

MRU was created by a group of independent restaurateurs to advocate for the restaurant industry and struggling restaurant owners, including finding solutions to help keep their businesses afloat during COVID-19 and beyond. "We're looking for help and relief," Houlihan said.

For further information or to join the MRU, email

Photo of Spicy Chorizo Omelette with Cheddar & Tomatoes courtesy of Trident Galley & Raw Bar

Ed Brown, owner of The Snug on North Street with his wife, Ellen Nally Brown, invites families to order takeout from their restaurant. "We've increased our to-go business since last March," Brown said. "Takeout now comprises about 40 percent of our business." Dine-in service is also available, with social distancing and other guidelines in place.

Photo courtesy of The Snug

Among customer favorites are the family-style meals -- from shepherd's pie to steak and turkey tips to chicken and shrimp -- and starting last November, lunch items.

Brown is appreciative of the Snug's loyal customer base, which is key to the restaurant's success. "We're also encouraged by our lunch business, especially since it's too cold for outdoor dining, even with heaters."

Even with the 25 percent capacity limit, business has remained steady, although Brown said that restriction definitely "puts a damper on smaller restaurants with limited capacity."

Customers wishing to dine inside have gotten into the habit of calling ahead to check on available seating, and there's a fairly-quick turnover of about an hour to an hour and a half for tables. "That allows plenty of time for a quick bite to eat and a drink, and then people are willing to move along to make room for others," Brown said.

He sees "a light at the end of the tunnel" with Spring just around the corner and hopefully, warmer weather. "We, some of our customers, and others I've talked with share the feeling that 2021 will be a kind of bounce-back year for us all."

This month marks the Snug's 18th anniversary in Hingham Square.

Photo of Spicy bowl of beef chili & a refreshing Lush IPA from Frost brewing courtesy of The Snug

Greg Jordan, co-owner of The Quarry Restaurant on Whiting Street, applauds the TakeOut Tuesday initiative. Even though the restaurant is closed on Tuesdays, he encourages families to order online Wednesdays through Saturdays.

The menu includes family meals -- including braised short ribs and chicken parmesan -- and "fun" wine and cocktails to go. "We're doing everything we can to make it through during weather that is not conducive to outdoor dining," Jordan said. "We definitely miss using our patio."

Photo of chicken parmesan courtesy of The Quarry Restaurant

The 25 percent capacity limit has taken its toll. "We had already installed Plexiglass when we reopened last July and did everything we could to make everyone feel safe, with high ceilings and plenty of place so no one feels crowded [even at 50 percent]," Jordan said. "It was unfortunate that the state put the 25 percent maximum into place just before New Year's Eve."

That said, while the Quarry staff misses hosting holiday gatherings, bridal and baby showers, and other special events, Jordan is encouraged by the many patrons who order takeout regularly -- as often as every couple of days. "That's noticed and appreciated," he said.

He looks forward to the arrival of Spring and getting back outside onto the patio. "Hopefully in 2021 we will be able to return to somewhere close to where we used to be [business-wise]," he said.

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