I can't help but chuckle when I think back to when I first moved to the Binghamton area and someone told me a story about how their favorite date night spot was the café at Wegmans. I admit that I was a bit horrified and yet, intrigued.

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A few years after our conversation, yours truly proudly joined the sizzling' hot Saturday night Wegmans café date destination club.

As a mom who tries her best to multi task, I so appreciated that I could visit Wegmans and drop my little guy off in their kid's club, do our grocery shopping, and still have enough time left to squeeze in a quick bite with my husband in the café.

Until the coronavirus pandemic hit and life changed, that is. Gone were the days of multi tasking at Wegmans and gone were the days of grabbing a tray and filling a plate at the hot and cold food bars for a dinner date with my husband.

Over the last year, I've found myself wondering if the grocery store would bring back its hot food bars and I think in the back of my head I knew that this pandemic has irrevocably changed life forever, but I still held on to the hope maybe the hot and cold food bars would return.

According to the Democrat and Chronical, Wegmans has and I quote, " no plans to bring back its hot and cold food bars." Wegmans spokesperson Laura Camera told the news outlet that the food bars were very popular with customers and that, "At this time, we do not have plans to bring these self-serve bars back in their traditional way."

It's not that Wegmans was looking for a way to phase out its food bars and that the pandemic helped seal the deal. Rather, it's more likely that state guidelines had a hand in the decision to keep from bringing back the food bars.

As of May 3, the New York State Department of Health guidelines on buffets (which is what the Wegmans food bars are) states, "Responsible Parties may open buffets, provided that they are not self-serve and that they are sufficiently staffed to ensure that there is no customer touching of common objects (e.g. serving spoons, tongs) and that appropriate social distance is maintained."

And there you have it. Sorry fellow Wegmans food bar lovers. I'm just as sad as you are.

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