Restaurants can post take-out menus
The Hull Nantasket Chamber of Commerce is inviting all the restaurants in town, whether members or not, to participate in a new initiative that supports local eateries ordered by Gov. Charlie Baker last Sunday to shut down all but their take-out service in an effort to stem the spread of the coronavirus.
“The chamber is creating a new page on its website listing Hull restaurants that respond to a letter we sent asking them to send us their menus and whether they are offering take-out, drive-up, or delivery services and whether they are accepting online or telephone orders,” said Chamber President Adrian Muir. “This will provide good publicity for all the participating restaurants.”
Once all the information is posted, it will be shared on social media to encourage residents of Hull and surrounding communities to support these local restaurants. “We will also encourage people to buy gifts cards to use down the road,” Muir said.
The new website page will also include links to state and federal programs offering assistance to restaurants that were forced to close and to their displaced employees. “It’s too early to know what the overall effects will be,” Muir said.
Shipwreck’d, the restaurant he owns with his wife, Susie Regan, is scheduled to reopen April 1, several days before the shutdown is scheduled to end, after being closed for the winter. “Even then the shut-down could be extended,” Muir said. “I’m just glad this isn’t the Fourth of July, in the middle of our busy summer season. This additional time will give seasonal restaurants like ours extra time to be diligent about our cleanliness and other processes.”
Muir’s advice to fellow restaurant owners is to “just hang in there. The more we can do to support each other the better off we will all be in the long term. We all need to think in the long term.”
In the meantime, Hull restaurants appear to be finding ways to cope. Brian Houlihan, owner of The Parrot and several other area restaurants, posted a video on his Facebook page, sharing his future plans with his fans. “We will be shutting down all five restaurant locations and setting up a central kitchen to prepare family-style meals you can bring home and heat up starting Tuesday night [March 17] so we can feed the public. That’s our job,” he said.
Some of the current staff members will stay on. Houlihan said he plans to put 20 percent of the proceeds from the sale of the take-out meals into a fund “for our employees who normally receive tips, to help ease their burden. This would normally be [the start of] their busy season. With your [customers’] help, we can do that.”
Houlihan promised his patrons that sometime in the future, “maybe on April 17 or maybe on June 17, we are going to throw a hell of a Saint Patrick’s Day party.”
In the meantime, customers can check Facebook for menus and guidance on how to order in the morning for delivery that evening. “We’re all going to get through this and be stronger and better in the future,” Houlihan said.
South Shore Taco Guy, a Mexican food catering service based in Hull, seems to be doing its part to help during this challenging time.
“No restaurants? No problem!! I can bring the best TACOS TO YOU!” says the message posted on the Taco Guy Facebook page. Founder and owner Clint Smith had plans to test out this service in Hull on March 18, serving tasty tacos from his food truck.
“With grocery store shelves getting cleaned out and restaurants and bars closed for business, making sure everyone in your home is well fed may prove trickier than usual in the days and weeks ahead,” Smith said.
If the Hull run goes as planned, the South Shore Taco Guy expects to continue the service, adding additional dates and times. For more information and to check for additional days and times, visit https://www.facebook.com/southshoretacoguy/.
“This whole situation is unprecedented territory for everybody,” Smith said in a press release this week. “You have to find ways to be creative, help each other out, and hopefully bring a little levity to this crazy situation. My hope is that by being out in the community serving tacos, I can help in my own small way.”
Smith noted that many other local businesses, including restaurants, coffee shops, and other retailers in Hull and other South Shore communities are actively working to make products and service easily and safely accessible for local residents.
“I’ve seen several posts on social media from businesses that are offering take-out and curbside service for people. I think it’s an innovative, safe way to make life a little easier for everybody while we’re all doing our best with social distancing,” said Smith. “And let’s face it, who wants to cook every night?”