Despite weather, local residents return to favorite restaurants following loosened restrictions

Hampshire County

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Rainy days usually keep some people away from restaurants but with restrictions gone, that doesn’t seem to be the case this weekend.

We’ve been talking about how excited people are to go out and explore again but some of that exploration comes with a return to indoor dining and that’s what we saw on Sunday.

Tara Seals of Hatfield told 22News, “Saw the bartender and was like, ‘Hi Michelle laughs we’re back!'”

Regulars like Tara are back at Fitzwilly’s to watch the game fully vaccinated.

“It’s just good to have the community open up again, the economy open up again. It’s a good time. People are vaccinated people feel safe,” said Melissa Melville from Hudson Valley, New York.

People like Melissa who weren’t ready to dine indoors during the pandemic are now back at the bar. That’s good news for restaurant owners, like Jeremy Werther at Homestead. He said these past 15 months has been a whirlwind.

“The best way I can describe it is with the circus theme song,” said Werther.

However, because of the pandemic, we now have more options in the way we dine out, such as the outdoor dining on Strong Avenue in Northampton. The space was filled with chairs and people catching up, along with a live band playing in the background. It’s all what’s to come this summer but they’re hoping this will go for even longer.

“We know as a collaborative neighborhood here that it needs to be successful. It really needs to be a positive experience but if we can do that, we’re going to be definitely petitioning the city next year and the year after,” said Werther.

That outdoor dining space will be open to customers at Homestead., Eastside Grill, Familiars Coffee and Tea, as well as Mulino’s. And Progression Brewing Company will be having its own tap set up there.

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