Mass. restaurants preparing for full capacity seating starting Monday

SE Mass

WESTPORT, Mass. (WPRI) — Starting March 1, some restrictions at restaurants and venues will ease up in Massachusetts.

A few weeks later, on March 22, larger weddings will be allowed at venues.

Perhaps you’ve seen the advertisements on 195 East, White’s of Westport is offering minimonies, wedding ceremonies of just 10 people or fewer.

It’s one way they got creative to stay relevant when larger weddings were canceled.

But business is already picking up again, even before restrictions are officially lifted in the Bay State.

“A hundred is huge compared to where we’ve been for the last year,” said General Manager Charlie Fellows.

Engaged couples rejoiced, when they heard Gov. Charlie Baker announce Thursday that soon they could have their dream wedding.

“Finally once the Governor said, ‘Okay on the 22nd, we can have 100 people’, everybody’s booking their parties and frantically trying to get their prime dates and Saturdays and May is a very busy month so it’s been good. We’re excited. And when he opens it up even more, we’re really excited. Then we’ll fill this room up again.”

Fellows said while Lafrance Hospitality, which owns White’s, waits for March 22, they’re also preparing for more business starting Monday at their restaurants, Merrill’s in New Bedford and Bittersweet Farm in Westport, to name a couple.

Starting Monday, they’ll be able to seat at full capacity again while social distancing.

Fellows said these are all great steps, but he’s hoping for more answers from the government soon for his clients.

“Let us know when we’re going to be able to do 300 people. This venue here, White’s, we can do almost 2,000 people. So let us know when we can do a little more.”

Lafrance Hospitality also set up what Fellows calls two virtual restaurants and a food truck for the warmer months ahead, options he believes will stick around post-pandemic due to their success.

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