Couple Converts Their Van Into A Mobile Dining Room So They Can Eat Out While Socially Distancing

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The couple wanted to support local restaurants, while going out to eat, safely!

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the restaurant business has been hit extremely hard. With restrictions and limitations put in place by state governors, many restaurants were forced to close down indoor dining and limit hours of operation. But one couple found a way to help out local restaurants and still feel like they were going out to eat together!

When the pandemic’s second wave hit Lombard, Illinois, indoor dining once again was shut down in October. That is when Doug White mentioned in passing to his wife, Kim, how awesome it would be if they had an RV as this would allow them to drive around and enjoy a restaurant vibe as RVs have a built-in dining table.

The couple thoroughly enjoyed going out together before the COVID-19 pandemic and the pandemic wasn’t going to stop them. As Kim explained to the Chicago Tribune eating out together was “Doug’s love language.” But after Doug mentioned the RV bit to Kim, she was suddenly struck with some inspiration.

Posted by Van Dining on Sunday, December 20, 2020

While it’s not exactly an RV, the result of her creativity is still extremely functional. Kim decided to create a little mobile restaurant using her transit van. The back of the van has quite the romantic vibe as it now is outfitted with fairy lights, a small table with red-and-white checkered table cloth, and two chairs. Not only is it romantic, but it’s also budget-friendly too, as the makeover cost less than $100.

2020 has been quite rough for the Whites, as in addition to the pandemic happening around them, Doug received a Stage IV colon cancer diagnosis back in June. That is why, amid the pandemic, the couple are determined to seek out any small bit of joy that they can together.

Kim’s renovation to the van is perfect as it still allows them the freedom to eat out at all their favorite places in Lombard and surrounding neighborhoods, while still being socially distant and safe. The couple also brings their own utensils and plates with them so that they don’t have to eat their food straight out of the takeout containers. Sometimes, there are even some restaurants that will plate up the food for the couple and bring it to them at the back of their van.

Well, I did it! I created a FB page to post all of our Van Dining experiences in one place.

Posted by Van Dining on Friday, December 4, 2020

Doug shared with Living Local Lombard that they will always “over-tip” as a way of doing their part to help the places they enjoy “stick around.” Doug and Kim have even set up a Facebook page called Van Dining, as well as an Instagram, in order to promote their creative dining.

They’re hoping to inspire others to help support local eateries as well. Through their social media, Doug and Kim encourage eatery suggestions as well as names of restaurants that need support.

Van Dining #8

What can I say about Rosemary and Jeans?
Old school classic…

Posted by Van Dining on Saturday, December 5, 2020

How awesome is this idea???