North End restauranteurs listened closely to details of Gov. Baker’s four-phase reopening plan and were frustrated to learn that it would be at least until mid-June before indoor dining would be allowed. Even then, only partial occupancy, perhaps 25-50%, would be permitted with the likely addition of strict new guidelines, including social distancing of 6-feet between unrelated parties.
Business owners had an impromptu rally on Hanover Street on Monday afternoon to express their frustration. “I cannot believe how our politicians are treating us. The restaurant owners are losing their livelihoods,” said Jorge Mendoza of Vinoteca di Monica and Monica’s Pasta Shop. The lack of specificity added to the frustration with owners not clear when to bring back employees, order supplies or reconfigure their spaces.
Many owners in the North End believe the State’s potential guidelines would not work in smaller eateries but rather are being designed for larger restaurants. “We’re all small businesses and its disappointing that no one cares that 70-80% might not reopen,” said Damien DiPaola of Carmelina’s and Domenic’s.
“We took a major hit,” said Frank DePasquale, President of the North End Chamber of Commerce. “I have a plan to reopen the North End,” he added, hoping for an audience with State and City officials.
Frank Mendoza of Monica’s Mercato and Monica’s Trattoria asked the Governor and Mayor to come down to the previously active corner of Prince and Salem Street, to see how it has changed. “I have worked here since I was 16 years old and I am not going to lose everything,” he said.