Boston and beyond reopening thread [MA]

since we are entering the next phase of reopening I figured we should have a place to hear about how it is going.

Waltham is all set to close Moody street tomorrow (until November is the currrent plan) to allow places to have outdoor dining spaces. Very curious to see how that goes, but I’ll give it a week for everyone to work out the kinks.


Okipoke in Burlington has reopened as has Sichuan Gourmet.


Turns out that Sichuan Gourmet only closed for two weeks and I assumed they were closed for the duration, so a lot of really good food didn’t get eaten. They do takeout from the lunch menu, but looking at the prices, it makes more sense to me to order from the dinner menu. You don’t get their excellent H&S soup with takeout. Way more food, but you have to pay for the rice. Since the owner are behind the register, no tipping. I do tip on takeout if staff are working.


While I’m not going to be the first one dining on-premises, I find it hopeful and charming to see parking lots being transformed into outdoor dining spaces with tents, tables, and even pots of flowers.


Just curious - but why this distinction between owner or employee when tipping for takeout ?


Because the owner doesn’t rely on tips to make a living.

I’m tipping generously regardless of who is behind the register right now. These owners are struggling to get their business through this pandemic. Every bit helps and hopefully trickles down in some way.


I am, too. I feel like it’s the least I can do to help ease the struggle and help this vulnerable industry get through these trying times. It’s been especially brutal for smaller, independently-owned places. In addition to the lost revenue from the shutdown, restaurants have seen significant increases in the costs of following the guidelines for safe practices, such as disposable menus and dishes, masks, etc. and a generous tip feels right to me.


I do tip at the smaller places regardless. Sichuan Gourmet has six locations, so they are not hurting.

I agree that tipping generously extra generously regardless of who is at the register is what my husband and I want very much to do now. Maybe it will trickle down, but owners themselves are not in great places now to say the least, especially if they don’t own the building and are paying rent. Six locations doesn’t necessarily mean they are or they aren’t hurting…maybe they are, maybe they aren’t…but keeping up six locations in these times is a lot to worry about.

At one particular place where I walk to pick up take out, I always leave cash for the tip at least 50% usually much more tip because I know this particular owner probably isn’t hurting much personally (and owner is never there) and the staff people are hurting. Yes, they have to take my paper money but I’m not asking for change and I know the cash goes to the servers.

Otherwise, I don’t understand why tipping is not always the right thing to do no matter who is at the register. The tipping system is bad and needs to be changed, but until change happens I"ll keep doing my part to help a local small business. Especially now.


Same. I also have a backstory to go with this point of view. The presence of restaurants and cafes breathes life into a community.

Backstory: I lived a chunk of my growing-up years in a small town that had but one place to eat—really just a bar with a few tables. There was no “there” there as a result. You didn’t have a spot to run into an acquaintance you hadn’t seen in awhile. A place to meet a colleague for coffee. Somewhere to warm up and get a hot meal when the power was out at your house. A welcoming place to grab dinner after a long week.

Let me tell you, what a difference it makes to live in a town where the center is home to the usual suspects: diner, breakfast/lunch place, coffee shop, pizza, Chinese food, seafood, and so forth.

We’re doing what we can to keep our regular places going.