Oak Bluffs selectmen denied a request from Seaweed’s to reduce its open days to one day a week, Saturdays, fearing it could set a precedent for other restaurants in town to close their doors.
Seaweed’s co-owner Danielle Pattavina said members of her staff continue to test negative weekly, but due to the spike in cases, foot traffic to their restaurant has been low. “We’re not breaking even; we’re losing money being open,” she said.
“Since there’s been spiking on the Island, we’ve been pretty dead,” co-owner Olivia Pattison added.
Selectman Brian Packish said he is concerned with a restaurant deciding to stay open only on Saturday nights. “We’ve got multiple restaurants in town that are still open multiple days a week, and cherry-picking Saturday night as the one night of the week just gives me concerns about the other folks staying open on those other nights,” he said.
Packish, who co-owns the building that houses the Red Cat, did not vote on any decision concerning Seaweed’s.
“I do think there’s a fairness issue here,” selectman Greg Coogan said. “Part of our job even in this time is to try and keep at least a place for people to eat if they choose to eat out … I would not be in favor of picking one night off the week.”
Selectman Ryan Ruley said it could result in a “domino effect” with other restaurants coming to the town ask to only be open Friday and Saturday, and closed the rest of the week.
Seaweed’s and selectmen settled on moving from a five-day week to four days, Thursday through Sunday.