Don’t End Massachusetts Outdoor Dining [PHIL-OSOPHY]
Whatever happens on June 15 with the end of Gov. Charlie Baker's state of emergency, it's essential to keep, among other things, the outdoor dining expansion and cocktails to go.
If the restaurants that were still operating last October didn't have the al fresco dining option, the mortality rate of the diners and bistros would have rocketed exponentially. It's possible that on June 15, outdoor dining and cocktails to go could go, as all the remaining Massachusetts COVID-19 restrictions will officially end on that date.
Over the next few weeks, I'm sure our politicians will be meeting and discussing which of the coronavirus ball-and-chain executive orders should become permanent state law. Their decisions will have enormous impact on the future of the state's restaurant industry and what it will look like a year from now.
The restaurants need to make up some of their lost revenue. If outdoor dining helps them achieve that end, then set it in cement and the lawmakers should decide to fold it into current law. As long as we're talking about the importance of keeping dining and alcohol delivery, I'd also like to have that law cap the fees that can be charged by third-party delivery apps.
Leadership on Beacon Hill should lead the charge as a show of support for our restaurants, tiny and large.
There have been a lot of orders that changed our lives, households and businesses, since March10, 2020. It's amazing, but we've all been through a nagging ordeal. Time passes quickly when you're having fun, right?
Phil Paleologos is the host of The Phil Paleologos Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @PhilPaleologos. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.