A Boston restaurant owner declared he’d rather take his chances with coronavirus than let his business go under.
On Monday, North End Boston restaurateurs protested Governor Charlie Baker’s Phase 1 re-open guidelines, which did not set a date for dine-in re-openings.
Monica’s Trattoria owner Frank Mendoza was among the demonstrators frustrated with the closure of his business, and pointed out he never once obeyed social distancing orders.
“I haven’t social distanced in three months. I’ve come out every single day. I take my chances with God,” Mendoza divulged.
“If I have to give up my business that I worked 25 years, sacrificed my life for, for coronavirus… I’ll take coronavirus over losing my business!”
“I got three little kids. I got mortgages, rent, health insurance, payroll taxes,” Mendoza ranted, listing his expenses.
Mendoza claimed he’ll take nothing less than being able to open his restaurant at full capacity.
“I want my restaurant opened up to 100 percent capacity,” he stated, according to Boston25News.com. “If they tell me I can only open at 25% occupancy, I will close.”
La Famiglia Spagnuolo owner Claudia Spagnuolo lamented the lockdown’s effect on the industry and insisted it’s high time to open.
“All of us are hurting terribly. They’re prolonging it,” Spagnuolo told Boston 25. “I think it’s time now to break out. Let the people come back, and let us make our living.”
“We’re ready. We’re ready,” she added. “It’s time. These are all people that have to pay good money, rents, everything, families. Open up. Let the people make their living.”
Another business owner acknowledged, “There’s a point where we all have to take a risk… It’s laughable… it’s a joke.”
He argued if the state wants to keep restaurants closed, they can come to his business personally and shut him down.
“We want none of it want to open at 100 percent and they should come down and tell us otherwise and come over and fight us at our businesses if they think that we’re gonna let them toy with us any longer. It’s a shame.”
In a statement addressing the business owners’ concerns, the Massachusetts Restaurant Association said the delay gives suppliers time to replenish inventories, and restaurant owners time to notify employees to return to work.
“Obviously, every restaurateur is disappointed with the lack of a defined re-opening date in today’s announcement. Massachusetts restaurants need their suppliers to have time to restock perishable inventory before it can be delivered to them, they need to notify employees about returning to work and conduct other due diligence.”
Meanwhile, Boston 25 reports while Phase 2 guidelines largely depend on coronavirus tracking data, June 8 would be the earliest Massachusetts restaurants could hope to reopen.
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