Burlington restaurants adjust to new mandate

Published: Nov. 17, 2020 at 2:46 AM EST
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - It’s been four days since Gov. Phil Scott’s mandate that all restaurants close to in-person dining at 10 p.m. to slow the spread of the coronavirus. WCAX News went to Church Street on Monday night to see how restaurants were holding up.

Most restaurants were closed by the late evening. Plenty of them have signs on their doors saying they’re now closing around 8 or 9 p.m.

Bento on College Street was one of the only restaurants open. Reiko Maeda, a Bento employee, says they let the majority of their staff go in March and have been doing takeout only since then.

“Our [regular customers] have been really helpful these past few months, like ordering from us and ordering a lot. But other than that, it’s been alright,” she said.

Since Bento only offers takeout, Maeda says they haven’t been too impacted by Governor Scott’s newest order, but some of their neighbors who are typically open late, have.

“Finnigan’s and Archives,” she said. “We’re all friendly with each other. So, I feel really, really bad for them, you know, because they don’t deserve this or anything, you know. No one does.”

And with winter quickly approaching, Maeda is worried takeout and delivery might face some challenges.

“We don’t want our drivers to be driving in the snow and that’s usually when people want deliveries too during the winter -- when no one wants to get out, so we’ll see about that. We might lose some money there,” she said.

Some people are anxious to see what the winter brings— if COVID cases will spike and if the governor will impose a new lockdown. If so, James Giffin of Colchester says he’ll do what he can to support the local economy.

“I support takeout and whatnot and then curbside. Like Doordash being open. Support your local businesses,” Giffin said.

WCAX asked other people on Church Street if they’re worried about winter. Some people said yes while others said no. Those who said yes said they struggle with seasonal depression in the winter, and they’re worried that could get worse under a new lockdown.

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