NEWTON (CBS) – People won’t be popping champagne when the clock strikes 12:00 a.m. on New Year’s Eve this year – at least not at Massachusetts restaurants. The COVID-19 restrictions are forcing businesses to get creative in bringing in customers.
“It’s a bummer honestly this year, but we’re still going to do our best,” said Arthur Andronic.
The owner of Moldova Restaurant in Newton told WBZ-TV that they’d typically be planning a big New Year’s Eve party with live music, cocktails and food, but not this year.
They’re simply trying to stay afloat through take-out orders.
“At this point, we’re trying to do anything possible,” said Andronic. “We’re not as busy as we were expecting for New Years, but we are expecting last minute orders.”
With strict capacity limits and a 9:30 p.m. curfew, patrons won’t be watching the ball drop from their favorite eateries. Instead, restaurants are relying heavily on festive décor and special NYE take-out menus to attract customers.
“We’re going to have some nice party kits with hats,” said Andronic.
It’s especially tough for Baramor in Newton, a neighborhood bar that thrives off the shoulder-to-shoulder crowds. They’ve now had to switch gears.
“We’re doing family style take-out that are geared towards small gatherings like 4-6 people,” said their beverage director, Shawn Couter.
They’re relying heavily on loyal customers and federal aid, not for profit, but to keep their doors open.
“Relief in any form and that’s been what we’re hoping for… help us keep on moving forward,” said Couter.
It’s all in hopes that they’ll still be around next year to celebrate the industry rebounding.
“If ever there was a year that we would celebrate being over, it’s 2020,” said Couter.