Local businesses bracing for 2-week pause

East Bay

BRISTOL, R.I. (WPRI) — Fabio Lopes opened Sunset Cafe in Bristol nine years ago, and on Saturday he was reminiscing on better times for restaurants.

“A day like today there would be a line out the door. You catch yourself like standing around once in a while and wow it’s so different,” Lopes said.

The “two week pause” starting Monday, Nov. 30 will limit restaurants to 33 percent indoor dining capacity. Bar area seating must be closed and only one household can sit per table.

Lopes told 12 News, this will limit him to a few tables and having indoor dining may not be worth it under these new restrictions.

“We will have 15 seats available, might as well just do take out it’ll be easier for everybody. If somebody wants to sit we will obviously have the tables available but if we see takeout is booming and that’s getting in the way we will just go full takeout,” he said.

The current curfew is also staying in effect during the pause — closing all businesses at 10 p.m.

The social gathering limit has been changed to one household — meaning only the people you live with. Museums and small retailers are allowed one customer per every 100 square feet while big box stores can have one person per 150 square feet.

Recreational venues, gyms and any indoor fitness centers including casinos, bowling alleys, and movie theaters must be closed during the pause.

Avon Cinema on Thayer Street in Providence is preparing to temporarily close — this is their last weekend before they shut down.

“There’s no equivocation, it’s an impact. You got to heat the place. Overhead those always continue but you acclimate,” co-owner Kenneth Dulgarian said.

Dulgarian said the theater has been following CDC and state guidelines and closing will be a hit to the business, but he understands the need for tighter restrictions.

“The plexiglass, the Purels, the sanitizing after every show, spacing and we’re all trying to do the best we can but we have to be a little patient.”

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