Almost implausibly, restaurants are opening during the pandemic. Read on, and I’ll run down 14 notable newcomers while critic Craig LaBan rounds up his favorite new takeout experiences (bonus: he’ll show you what a yak nose looks like).

Also this week: Advice for a safe Halloween, Philly beer geeks get some good news, and four chefs get naked.

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Michael Klein

Craig LaBan’s favorite takeout dishes

Outdoor dining still offers that food-right-off-the-stove experience. Takeout? Detail-minded cooks accustomed to preparing fine-dining plates are creating dishes that travel well, writes Craig LaBan, who finds sterling sushi, Korean fried chicken, and duck leg tacos, among other bites.

14 brand-new restaurants worth a look

While restaurants close or hang on by a thread, more places are opening. (My take: Optimism and entrepreneurial spirit will never die.) I run down 14 restaurants that have opened in the last month or two in Philadelphia and Pennsylvania suburbs. All you South Jersey folks: I’ll soon be hitting up newcomers in the 856. Any new favorites? Drop me a line.

Also on the opening/closing side: June BYOB, which opened in summer 2019 with a white-tablecloth French experience, has closed. Also now gone are all the region’s Snap Kitchen prepared-foods shops, as the Austin-based chain, which had set up an enormous commissary in the city’s Harrowgate neighborhood, goes a different way.

Halloween at home with the kids? We have ideas

With a full Saturday to play, let the kids create a Halloween party at home by making their own treats.

You can find more of this week’s safe kid-friendly, outdoor, and arts events in our weekly events calendar. Among the adult highlights: Monster Mash Bloody Mary Challenge in Northern Liberties where restaurants battle it out in the Bloody Mary challenge. The main event is on the 10th, but the participating restaurants will have their best Bloody Marys all month long. Masks and social distancing are required. (Pay as you go, through Oct. 31, explorenorthernliberties.org.)

Beer here: A Boston-area brewery sending its beers thisaway

Night Shift Brewing outside Boston, nervous about the pandemic, scuttled its plans to open a $10 million brewery and taproom in Roxborough. But in a newly inked deal with Penn Beer Distributors, Night Shift will send its beers to Southeastern Pennsylvania. So it’s a glimmer of good news.

Why four chefs got naked

Revivalist Gin’s Scott and Don Avellino dipped into the annals of print-advertising classics and found a popular series from two decades ago in which chefs posed nude with their Vita-Prep blenders. Marc Vetri did one, wearing a bandanna and a slight smile. The Avellinos revived the idea and got four chefs to pose. The gin campaign will benefit the Hospitality Assistance Response of Pennsylvania, which provides emergency help to hospitality workers.

Audrey Claire Cook becomes a wine shop

Audrey Claire Cook, whose intimate classes in a salon off Rittenhouse Square are idled by the pandemic, will become a wine shop, at least for the short-term.