SOMERVILLE (CBS) — Following in Arlington’s footsteps, Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone has issued an order allowing restaurants to sell grocery items for the duration of Somerville’s local state of emergency. The order is meant to give relief to struggling restaurants and give residents expanded access to groceries.
Restaurants can now offer pick-up or delivery of grocery items, but businesses that did not previously sell direct-to-consumer groceries must provide a detailed operations and safety plan to the city for review and approval.
“Many of our local restaurants are hurting right now, but at the same time, grocery stores are seeing their supply lines disrupted and customers are understandably worried about being around crowds in stores,” said Mayor Curtatone in a news release. “Allowing restaurants to sell grocery items address all of those issues — it gives residents more options when it comes to buying food, provides a new revenue stream for restaurants, and it takes some pressure off grocery stores and gives them time to restock.”
Restaurants often use different suppliers than grocery stores, and may be able to carry hard-to-find items that grocery suppliers haven’t been able to restock, the city said in the release.
In response to the mayor’s order, Earls Kitchen + Bar at Assembly Row launched Earls Grocery Saturday. The restaurant chain said it comprises of a unique selection of grocery staples and meal kits, and is available for pickup or delivery.
In addition, the chain has also launched Earls Liquor Store, where customers can buy wine, beers, ciders and hard seltzers available for takeout and delivery.
“We know of guests who regularly dine in our restaurants struggling to find ingredients on shelves, and others who simply wish to stay home to limit their social interactions. We also recognize our tremendous responsibility to keep our supply chains moving and our people employed. Earls Grocery helps to ensure our farmers, our kitchens, our customers, and our people stay fed and supported during these extraordinary times,” said Kristin Vekteris, Chief Brand Officer.
To find out which restaurants are offering groceries, visit www.somervilledelivers.com.