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These Boston-Area Restaurants Will Still Require Masks for Now

Massachusetts lifted all restrictions on May 29, but not everyone is ready to immediately dive back into pre-pandemic conditions

A waiter in glasses and a blue button-down shirt wears a black protective mask while disinfecting tables on an outdoor patio Drazen Zigic/Shutterstock

Massachusetts lifted all COVID-19 restrictions as of May 29, which means that restaurants can now stop requiring masks, distancing tables, imposing time limits, and more. Not all restaurants plan to follow suit immediately, though, and there are a variety of reasons why not all customers are ready to ditch masks.

For those not quite ready to venture out into “normal” conditions, here’s a running list of restaurants that will still require both staff and customers to wear masks for the time being, regardless of vaccination status. (There’s a bit of a spectrum here, with some allowing masks to come off only while actively eating or drinking and others allowing mask removal once seated at an outdoor table and not interacting with staff. Details are included below.)

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Restaurants Requiring Masks

  • 50Kitchen (1450 Dorchester Ave., Dorchester, Boston): Chef and owner Anthony Caldwell plans to keep various pandemic guidelines in place for the time being, including mask-wearing and a 90-minute dining limit. Indoor dining and outdoor dining are both available.
  • Bow Market (1 Bow Market Way, Union Square, Somerville): The open-air collection of food and retail vendors — including Remnant Brewing, Rebel Rebel, Saus, Hooked Fish Shop, and more — will keep requiring masks in its indoor spaces, and while ordering, for the time being. Masks will not be required outdoors, however. Bow employees and business owners will continue to wear masks for now.
  • Brassica Kitchen & Cafe (3710 Washington St., Jamaica Plain, Boston): Staff is remaining masked for the time being, and customers are asked to remain masked when placing an order, picking up food, and otherwise moving about the space. Masks can come off, though, once seated on the patio.
  • The Friendly Toast (multiple locations around New England): All locations are still requiring masks for customers and staff, according to an employee.
  • Giulia (1682 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge): Customers must keep masks on when interacting with staff and when not actively eating and drinking.
  • Inn at Hastings Park (2027 Massachusetts Ave., Lexington): The hotel staff will continue wearing masks, and hotel guests are required to do so in common areas as well, unless seated at a table in the hotel’s dining areas (Town Meeting Bistro and the Culinary Garden featuring Whispering Angel).
  • Juliet (21 Union Sq., Union Square, Somerville): The restaurant’s staff is fully vaccinated but will continue to wear masks, and all customers are asked to do the same. Indoor dining resumes as of June 3.
  • Oleana (134 Hampshire St., Cambridge): Masks are required inside the building, unless you’re seated at a table.
  • Pagu (310 Massachusetts Ave., Central Square, Cambridge): Indoor dining won’t be returning for the foreseeable future at Pagu, and masks are mandatory for staff as well as customers on the patio.
  • Pammy’s (928 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge): Customers must wear a mask when arriving, moving around the restaurant, and interacting with staff, even when seated at a table.
  • Peregrine (170 Charles St., Beacon Hill, Boston): Staff and customers are required to wear masks for indoor dining, but customers are not required outdoors.
  • Sarma (249 Pearl St., Somerville): Staff and customers are still required to wear masks.
  • Saus (33 Union St., downtown Boston): The Boston location of Saus will wait at least a week post-May 29 to see how the neighborhood is coming back before bringing back indoor dining, and masks will still be required except when seated. The staff isn’t 100% vaccinated yet, but the owners are making resources available, including paid sick time, so staff can get appointments.
  • Spoke Wine Bar (89 Holland St., Davis Square, Somerville): Spoke is sticking with outdoor dining for the time being, but customers are asked to wear masks when directly interacting with staff and when venturing inside to the restroom.
  • Sweet Tomatoes Pizza (Newton and Needham locations): All Sweet Tomatoes pizzerias in Newton and Needham are requiring masks for staff in the presence of customers, as well as customers while not eating, for a little while longer, according to a manager at one of the locations. (Sweet Tomatoes locations outside of Newton and Needham are owned and operated separately and may have different policies.)
  • Trina’s Starlite Lounge (3 Beacon St., Somerville): The staff is fully vaccinated but will continue to wear masks for now, and customers are also asked to wear a mask when not seated at a table. (Unvaccinated customers should also keep their masks on at the table, except when eating and drinking.) Trina’s is also keeping tables and barstools spaced out by six feet, and there is no standing room at the bar.

Restaurants Requiring Proof of Vaccination

  • Grendel’s Den (89 Winthrop St., Harvard Square, Cambridge): While Grendel’s Den doesn’t require vaccinated employees to wear masks and doesn’t require any customers to wear masks (but encourages unvaccinated ones to do so), the restaurant is requiring customers to show proof of vaccination — vaccine cards or photos of vaccine cards, as well as ID — when seated indoors when the headcount reaches 50 or more. Outdoor seating does not require proof of vaccination.