Restaurants, bars see slower business this Thanksgiving Eve due to COVID-19 concerns

Hampden County

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CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) — The night before Thanksgiving is typically the busiest bar night of the year, but COVID-19 is putting a damper on 2020 festivities.

Bill Stetson is the owner of the Rumbleseat Bar & Grille. He said the bar and restaurant industry banks on two big dates – St. Patrick’s Day and the night before Thanksgiving.

“Because of the regulations, COVID, we are going to be at much less capacity,” said Stetson. “We will probably be off by 60 to 70 percent based on our occupancy, the table spacing, and people naturally apprehensive about going out and closing at 9:30 p.m. is really the biggest factor.”

COVID-19 restrictions mean Massachusetts restaurants can’t serve food and drinks past 9:30 p.m. Restaurant owners blames the state’s curfew on a downturn in business. Customers who were out were keeping things low key for Thanksgiving plans.

“I guess I would just stay in the house and cook dinner in the house like I normally would,” said Aaron Scribner of South Hadley. “That’s it.”

To help make revenue, the Rumbleseat Bar & Grille plans to be open all day on Thanksgiving.

While at a restaurant you cannot stand or crowd by a bar and you must wear a mask when walking around.

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