As Massachusetts moves into Phase 2 of its economic reopening plan, this week marks the start of reopening for many businesses and restaurants, but bars and restaurants are among those still waiting for their phase to begin. While this comes with restrictions, many places say they're ready, even those who can’t open yet.
Workers were getting organized Tuesday night for a soft outdoor opening at the Byblos Restaurant in Norwood. When they open on Wednesday, out on the sidewalk, it will be a fraction of their normal restaurant crowd.
“I think it’s going to be 20 percent, 25 percent, but we’ll take it,” said Maurice Daaboul, one of the owners of Byblos.
The Middle Eastern restaurant has been a mainstay in town for 24 years, and Daaboul says he’s pleased they can reopen in Phase 2, which started Monday.
“We need to let the people feel that we’re still here you know, though our take-out has been good so far and delivery has been good so far, hopefully this opening will give us motivation to do more,” Daaboul said.
Right now bars still can’t open until Phase 4. Some are even applying for a seating license and bringing in food, according to the Massachusetts Restaurant Association.
Gyms also haven't been able to reopen yet, as they continue to wait for Phase 3 to begin.
Craig Robertson of CrossFit Prosperity in Norwood says his socially distanced gym is ready to go.
“I think gyms have been vilified as a breeding ground for viruses.... We’re not sharing equipment, it’s not thousands of people in and out everyday,” he said.
Robertson says he has reached out to his local lawmakers and thinks categorizing reopening phases based on industry type is short-sighted.
He says it should be based on whether or not an industry can meet certain safety guidelines.
Robertson said, “If we could get this kind of setting in front of people, and show them that we could in fact do things safely, than hopefully rational minds will prevail and they will say, 'okay you can do this.'”