BOSTON (CBS) — Retailers and restaurants are closing their doors all over the state. According to the Massachusetts Restaurant Association, about 20% of the state’s restaurants will not reopen after the coronavirus pandemic restrictions are lifted.
“It’s tragic, we’re talking about restaurants that have given their heart and soul to the communities that they serve, and heart and soul to employing our neighbors and our friends,” said Bob Luz, President of Massachusetts Restaurant Association.
Bella Luna & The Milky Way in Jamaica Plain is part of that 20%. It is closing after more than 27 years in business.
“It was like a living room, we were a part of people’s lives. They had their first dates at Bella Luna, they came to do their baby shower at Bella Luna, they got married at Bella Luna, then they would bring their kids as their kids were growing up,” said Bella Luna & The Milky Way co-founder Kathie Mainzer.
Allison Daroie closed up her Charles Street clothing storefront Paridaez right when COVID-19 hit. She’s shifted her attention to online sales and stay optimistic.“I had to decide am I going to keep employees on or am I going to pay the overhead of the store,” said Daroie.
Eighteen storefronts are now up for lease on Beacon Hill.
“It’s hard for me to see another for lease sign go up,” said Ali Ringenburg, she is with the Beacon Hill Business Association. She also owns an art gallery on Charles Street.
Ringenburg said the association and other neighborhood groups are working together to bring more foot traffic to the area.
“We’re all in this together. We’re a five-block street, really diverse businesses, restaurants, and when there is so many vacancies and businesses aren’t doing well it impacts all of us,” said Ringenburg.