Muslims usually during their holy months of Ramadan, break their Ramadan fast at sundown with dried dates. Many American Muslim families before their full day of fasting head to IHOP for gorging a plate of pancakes. It’s not because Muslims like pancakes more than any other Americans. It’s because the 24 hour-pancake house chain is the only local restaurant that opens at suhoor. Suhoor is the meal eaten just before the ritual fast that kicks off at daybreak.
A new push or drive called Dine after Dark wants to change that concept, at least for Muslims living in and around the country’s capital.
Katherine Ashworth Brandt, a former congressional aide now studying political management at George Washington University who initiated the campaign late last year, is requesting Washington restaurants to extend their hours next month to include Muslims observing Ramadan, the 30 days of fasting that starts from May 5 this year for most of the Muslims.
Restaurateurs who would be taking parts in Dine After Dark would open around 4 a.m., to allow Muslims two hours time before sunup to eat something before renouncing from food and drink for the rest of the day, or it would close around 10:30 p.m., about two hours after sunset, when perceptive, attentive Muslims would be breaking their fast.
Based on the business models, some restaurants would broaden both morning and evening hours. Two extra hours might not be adequate to serve all Muslims’ needs. However, Brandt compared Dine After Dark with Chinese restaurants that remain open on Christmas, and thus have become a traditional, if inconclusive, standby for Jews and Muslims on the Christian holiday.