As restaurants around the state continue to adapt to a very difficult set of circumstances there is some relief. In addition to being allowed to do take-out and delivery, some restaurants are now allowed to serve take-out alcohol.
According a recently established governor’s executive order, restaurants with a liquor permit will be allowed to provide alcohol to-go. It must be served in a sealed container and customers are also required to order food.
“Anything will help,” said Anthony Sullo, co-owner of the three-restaurant Joey Garlic’s chain. “We now have the ability to add on beer and wine and things like that to people’s order.”
According to the executive order, restaurants can only sell the type of alcohol its permit allows them to sell on-premises. It can only be sold during operation hours of liquor stores and delivery will not be permitted.
Still, there are unknowns as to how much this will sustain a restaurant’s ability to persevere through this difficult time.
“Could it help? For sure,” said Manchester’s Mulberry Street Restaurant owner, Danita Sulick. “It would be great to move my draft beer and not have it sitting around.”
Not all restaurants will benefit. Elizabeth Hall owns Manchester’s Angry Egg, a breakfast and lunch restaurant without a liquor permit. Still, despite not directly reaping the benefits of alcohol sales, she’s happy for her industry.
“The restaurant community, we’re all one big family. So, if it’s gonna help, my brother, sister down the street, that’s awesome,” said Hall.
Hall though is honest and worried. She’s already been forced to lay off all of her eight employees. Meanwhile she and her husband Steve are running the business alone.
“It’s so scary. It’s really scary,” she said.
It’s not just small restaurants either. Joey Garlic’s, which has three locations, was forced to lay off an estimated 80 percent of its staff which previously was around 150 people.
Joey Garlics has ramped up its take-out procedure. They have established a designated parking lot area and repurposed part of the restaurant lobby for pick-up. Mullberry Restaurant has taken it a step further.
“We’re doing curbside as well,” explained Sulick. “Anybody who doesn’t want to come into this building, we’ll bring it out to them.”
Restauranteurs we spoke with today say they are trying to persevere but it’s a scary time for all small business owners.
“We don’t have anything else,” said Hall. “We put all of our money into this.”