Restaurant owners said they are eager to re-open bar seating for the first time since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, but that more help from the government is needed to keep them afloat.
Seating at the bar must be used for food service, not just alcohol service. Gov. Charlie Baker is also expanding group seating from six to 10 people.
Not all cities and towns are allowing the expansion, with Boston and Worcester both holding back. But Alex Hage, manager of the Backroom and Pollo Club restaurants in Waltham, said the expanded capacity would be a big help for his business.
“We have been waiting for this since the shutdown, we are excited and waiting for it,” Hage said.
However, Bob Luz, president of the Massachusetts Restaurants Association, said restaurants need increased federal funding to stay in business.
“Really, what restaurants need is a second round of PPE funding to come from the federal government so they afford these extra costs that continue to mount in order to take care of our guests,” Luz said.
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