Massachusetts restaurant owners demanding input in reopening process

BOSTON — A group of about 200 Massachusetts restaurants and businesses have joined forces to demand more input and answers in the state’s reopening process.

Dave Andelman, CEO of Phantom Gourmet, has been organizing the project and getting more restaurants on board by the day.

On Tuesday, he visited riled up restaurant owners in the North End who vocalized opposition to dine-in services not being included in Phase 1 of the state’s reopening.

“These are small independent businesses, and they are failing. They are going to go down unless we give them a road map now to let them survive,” said Andelman.

Andelman, who also owns the Mendon twin drive-in, asked the North End business owners to join the Massachusetts Restaurant and Jobs group, which is not affiliated with the Massachusetts Restaurant Association.

“Restaurant owners have been completely disenfranchised from this process. They deserve their own representation on that board,” said Andelman. “They are asking to let three of their members represent them on this board.”

In an open letter to the state, the group is now asking to have a say moving forward on the reopening advisory board.

The board already includes the owner the Davio’s restaurant chain, Steve DiFillippo.

“Let’s help them get back on their feet before it’s too late,” said Andelman. “I know an awful lot about this. It is getting to be too late.”

Dining rooms in Massachusetts could reopen as early as the second week in June. However, a concrete date and plan has yet to be figured out.

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