Businesses react to governor's latest Covid restrictions

Nov 2, 2020

Although new state guidelines will force Dartmouth restaurants to close a little earlier from Friday, many establishments in town don’t foresee much of an impact to their business.

Gov. Charlie Baker announced Monday a new stay-at-home advisory and mask order along with new restaurant restrictions in response to the recent rise in Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations in Massachusetts.

Under the new guidelines, Baker asked residents to be in their homes from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. daily and that restaurants must stop table service at 9:30 p.m., although they can continue to offer carry out after that time.

Cask & Pig Manager Joshua Sanchez said that he and his staff are still figuring out the restaurant’s next steps following the announcement, but noted that “things are probably going to change up.”

“It’s better than closing down,” he added.

For Joe’s Original on State Road, Assistant General Manager Norman L’Heureux said Baker’s orders would only slightly impact service, noting that Joe’s typically closes at 9 p.m. Sunday through Tuesday, with Thursday through Saturday service only cut by half an hour. 

“To be quite honest, I don’t think it’s going to have that much of an effect on us,” he said.

L’Heureux added that while he doesn’t think the new restrictions “will do any good,” he said he understands the governor’s intentions. 

“With the holidays coming, [Baker] doesn’t want all those returning college kids gathering and getting drunk,” he added.

Liquor stores and other retail establishments that sell alcohol must cease alcohol sales by 9:30 p.m. Businesses that sell alcohol after the cutoff could face a fine and could get their license suspended, revoked or canceled.

Sunny Patel, manager of Cardoza’s Wine and Spirits on Faunce Corner Road, said that like L'Heureux, he does not think there will be too much of an impact on his business.

“After nine o’clock we don’t really see many people in here anyway,” he noted. “It’s a pandemic — we have to do this.”

The state also expanded its mask mandate, which now requires people to wear masks even if they are 6 feet away from others. 

“We’re basically saying if you go out in public, wear a mask,” Baker said at a press conference on Monday.

The new orders will take effect at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 6.