This may come as a shock to some, but for the very first time since 2020 shut down restaurants across the SouthCoast, an iconic New Bedford eatery has finally opened back up again for inside dining.

For almost two years, Pa Raffa's on Acushnet Avenue in New Bedford's North End has only been providing take-out for is customers. COVID-19 regulations really took a toll on the restaurant industry, including this SouthCoast Italian food staple.

Pa Raffa's took to Facebook on Tuesday, January 18 with the following announcement:

Since Tuesday was the very first day Pa Raffa's doors swung open to the public, I personally wasn't going to miss it. At 11:30 a.m., I was the first customer to step foot back inside and the lunch choice was simple: a linguica and onion pizza. You can't go wrong with that.

Gazelle/Townsquare Media
Gazelle/Townsquare Media

"The first day back was great," owner Kristin Raffa said. "We got to welcome back a lot of old friends!"

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Once restaurants were able to offer curbside pickup, Pa Raffa's followed suit and had been so ever since. However, it was getting to be too much for the staff.

"We just couldn’t do another winter with the curbside," Raffa said. "The crew did an awesome job, but it was very challenging. Most of our crew and their families had a chance to get vaccinated so it helped us feel more comfortable to let the public back in."

With the buzzing and exceptional staff hard at work, Pa Raffa's has returned to its normal hours for Monday to Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. with the exception of holidays.

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