BOSTON (CBS) – The coronavirus pandemic continues to hit the hospitality industry hard. New figures from the Massachusetts Restaurant Association show thousands were forced to close permanently in 2020.
Bob Luz, CEO of MRA, told WBZ-TV that around 3,600 restaurants have permanently closed – that’s about a fifth of all restaurants in the state. He said while alfresco dining has kept some restaurants afloat, winter could bring even more closings.
CONTINUE READING: “Your father was a hero,” said President Biden, paying tribute to the murdered Capitol police officer, Billy Evans
Il Molo in the North End of Boston closed its doors in March and has still not reopened as its bar is 20 percent of the restaurant’s capacity.
“That means you are raising a child. Suddenly you lose a child. Yes, it was pretty nerve-wracking, ”said Don Mol Frattaroli, the owner of Il Molo.
In Boston, longtime favorites like The Pour House, The Fours and Cheers at Faneuil Hall have closed their doors for good in recent weeks. Massachusetts restaurants are permitted to offer limited dining indoors with tables at least three feet apart. The bars have been closed until there is a vaccine or coronavirus therapeutic.
CONTINUE READING: Johnson & Johnson’s COVID vaccine hiatus won’t slow New Hampshire down, says Governor Sununu
CONNECTED: List of Boston bars that have closed due to a pandemic
Last week, Governor Charlie Baker said it was “heartbreaking” to see bars and restaurants fight. He said the pandemic had a “ripple effect” on local businesses.
“It stinks. It stinks. A lot of it stinks,” Baker said of the closings. “But it’s part of what’s coming with COVID.”
MORE NEWS: Lynn Police starts wearing body cameras
The North End usually hosts a food festival called Taste of the North End in September. This year the event will be a virtual fundraiser for local restaurants and community groups. More information can be found here.