WALTHAM (CBS) – The capacity limit for outdoor gatherings remains at 25 people across Massachusetts, the statewide restrictions will be in place until at least January 24.
Even though it’s freezing cold outside, some patrons are still braving the elements to support small businesses. But with restrictions changing week-to-week and month-to-month, some restaurant owners told WBZ-TV their business is just not sustainable.
“It’s not just move and guidance changing week-to-week, it’s operating week-to-week. We could be closed next week,” said Jeff Abellard, owner of Bistro 781 in Waltham.
His dining room is empty. Abellard says he’s lucky if he gets a few dozen patrons a night.
“January and February is usually our slow season as it is around these parts, so it’s even slower now,” Abellard.
It’s a challenging task, especially for restaurant owners who are trying to adapt to the ever-changing coronavirus guidelines.
But to slow the spread of the coronavirus in Massachusetts, which reached a record-high for cases in a single day on Thursday, Gov. Charlie Baker says capacity limits will remain at 25 percent for most businesses for at least another two weeks.
“Cases are growing, and hospitalizations continue to climb,” said Baker. “We know that extending those restrictions for any businesses, especially small businesses, is a lot to ask, but we need to stay in this game a little longer.”
Mighty Squirrel Brewing Company, another Waltham establishment, is having the same issues as Bistro 781.
“With the new restrictions and the limit, we can only have 19 people in the patios instead of having 90 people,” said Naveen Pawar, Mighty Squirrel Brewing Co. Owner.
Even though temperatures hovered in the 40s in Waltham, the few patrons who were there preferred to sit outside.
“I don’t want to be crowded, I don’t want to be with people I don’t really know,” said patron Teresa Heffernan.
Business owners say they’re relying on their loyal customers to get through slow winter months.
“This is January. February is worse,” said Abellard.