As some businesses begin to reopen during the coronavirus pandemic, bars must remain closed, forcing them to reckon with an uncertain future while a bill that would give them a lifeline remains stalled on Beacon Hill.
While bars that serve food can offer alcohol, the bars themselves cannot reopen until the final phase of the governor’s reopening plan, which requires either a vaccine or effective treatment for the deadly pathogen.
“If we don’t get help, we’ll go out of business,” said Jackson Cannon, bar director at Eastern Standard in Kenmore Square. “We’ve really lost half a year, but we’re being expected to pay rents and taxes based on values that don’t really exist anymore.”
A bill that would allow bars to sell to-go cocktails passed the House, 156-0, on June 3, but is now tied up in the Senate.
“If we could do to-go cocktails, we could pay our rent,” said Josh Weinstein, owner of The Quiet Few in East Boston. “We could pay someone’s salary.”
Governor Charlie Baker said on Friday that he supports that measure, but it hasn’t arrived on his desk yet.
“It’s obviously a disagreement of some sort between the branches,” he said.