Welcome back to AM Intel, a round-up of mini news bites to kick off the week.
Phase Three Begins: Massachusetts Casinos and Other Large Venues Can Reopen
Today, July 6, marks the start of phase three of Massachusetts’ reopening plan (except in the city of Boston, which will embark on phase three on July 13): Casinos, gyms, museums, and some other large indoor venues can begin to reopen, with various restrictions in place. Boston’s closest casino, Encore Boston Harbor in Everett, plans to reopen on July 12, with rules about distancing, masks, and more. Some, but not all, of the restaurants within the casino will reopen at the same time.
When Gov. Charlie Baker announced the move into phase three last week, he also noted that it could be quite a while before phase four, the “new normal,” begins — a COVID-19 vaccine and/or effective treatments must be in place first. That means that a lot of businesses in the restaurant and hospitality industry will have to remain closed for now, including beer gardens, breweries, wineries, and distilleries that do not provided seated food service. (Those that do were able to reopen in some capacity in phase two, which began on June 8.) Bars (that don’t have seated food service) and nightclubs are also included in phase four.
Street festivals, agricultural festivals, and parades are also on hold until phase four; some of Massachusetts’ large food festivals have already officially announced their 2020 cancellations, including the Big E. Next year’s event has been set for September 17 through October 3, 2021. The Boston Local Food Festival, which would have taken place on September 20, 2020, on the Greenway, has also been canceled.
Seis Pies Burrito Joint Pops Up This Week
The Mike & Patty’s and Hot Box team is collaborating with chef Tim Maslow (Ribelle, Whaling in Oklahoma) on a burrito joint called Seis Pies — Spanish for six feet. A social distancing reference, perhaps?
Seis Pies makes its debut as a pop-up at Hot Box (1 Bow Market Way, Bow Market, Union Square, Somerville) this Wednesday and Thursday, July 8 and 9, from 5 to 8 p.m. or until sellout. The team plans to release the opening menu later today; watch Instagram for any pertinent updates.
Meanwhile, Hot Box continues to serve its North Shore-style roast beef and South Shore-style bar pizza daily, with takeout and delivery options available. There are some new items on the menu, too, like steak and cheese egg rolls. And over in Boston’s Bay Village, tiny sandwich shop Mike & Patty’s is also open for takeout and delivery daily.
In Other News...
- Local cookie company Top Shelf Cookies, founded by Heather Yunger in 2014, is using the crowd-investing platform Mainvest to raise funds to open a storefront this fall. Yunger has currently raised about $44,000 of the minimum goal of $60,000, with about two months left in the campaign.
- The chain formerly known as Dunkin’ Donuts is testing bubble tea and a few other new drinks at select Massachusetts locations this summer.
- As the pandemic continues, some customers continue to take out their frustrations about mask restrictions on people just trying to do their jobs: An 81-year-old Provincetown pizzeria owner was allegedly punched in the face in a social distancing dispute, and Northampton ice cream shop Herrell’s has seen its share of anger, including a customer allegedly throwing ice cream at an employee.
- Want to live above Costello’s Tavern in JP?
- Eater NY critic Ryan Sutton explains why he’s not sitting down for dine-in service at any restaurant right now.
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