One Massachusetts restaurant owner says he is furious at the state for what he sees as a lack of help from them amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
With restaurants among businesses hit particularly hard by all of the COVID-19 restrictions, Chef Mike Fucci says the state is doing nothing to help owners who are struggling to stay open.
"I am pissed, I am furious, I have never in my life, 46 years, been in a situation like this," Fucci said. "Neither has anybody else, I get it, but what are you doing to help? What are you doing? What are they doing up at the State House to help us? Nothing!"
Fucci started Chef Mike's Cucina in Needham 15 months ago, and then COVID-19 hit in March.
"It has been horrible, it has been real bad," he said of how things are going at his restaurant. "We are down 85-percent, we are struggling to make it."
Fucci says he has been forced to cut hours and staff while trying to figure out a recipe to stay open.
"I will be lucky if I make it to January, February, if I am lucky, and that will be a stretch, that will be a stretch," he said.
All of this comes as the winter weather clamps down on outdoor dining for Fucci and so many other restaurants.
Restaurants and the Coronavirus
Fucci has spent money to alter his restaurant even as doctors sound the alarm on indoor dining.
Dr. Mark Siedner, an infectious disease expert at Massachusetts General Hospital, says there's no way around COVID-19 risk when it comes to indoor dining.
"Indoor dining, with windows and doors closed, with people not wearing masks while they eat, is unquestionably a risk for transmission," he said. "There is no way around that."
While Fucci has voiced his frustration with the current situation, he's not alone. Mass Restaurants United, a coalition of hundreds of restaurants, continues to push state lawmakers for help.
Meanwhile, there is also hope that any new federal stimulus package will include help for these restaurants that are hanging on by a thread.