Westerly restaurant ends in-person dining after some guests were ‘profane, verbally abusive’ to staff

Business News

WESTERLY, R.I. (WPRI) — A seafood restaurant in Westerly will only be offering takeout for the rest of the summer due to the actions of some patrons.

Two Little Fish owner Timothy Brennan tells Eyewitness News that while many of his customers have been supportive and understanding of the restrictions put in place due to COVID-19, a “significant” number of people not only refused to wear masks and socially distance, but were also verbally abusive toward his staff.

“They would swear, they would use profanity, they would get quite upset,” he said. “I think in the end, everyone will be alright. It’s just a shame that sometimes a few bad apples spoil the barrel.”

Two Little Fish is a popular clam shack near Misquamicut Beach.

“They should probably go somewhere else if they don’t like the service here,” said Maura Bonafede, a regular customer. “But everybody else seems to really enjoy it and spoiled it for the majority of people who like to dine in.”

On Thursday, Brennan took to social media to announce the restaurant will no longer have indoor and outdoor dining this season.

This issue is not unique to Two Little Fish. Ice cream shops have recently said they, too, are experiencing rude customers lashing out at employees.

Gov. Gina Raimondo addressed these types of incidents, saying they’re rare but unfortunate nonetheless.

“To the people who are doing that, just stop it,” she said. “Why would you do that? It’s mean, it’s selfish. To what end? It’s bullying someone to break the law.”

Raimondo is encouraging businesses to call the state to help with enforcement if they need it.

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