The Ritz reopens

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The Ritz and Dilly’s Taqueria are open again, and are gearing up for what they hope will be a busy season.

The Ritz and Dilly’s Taqueria on Circuit Avenue in Oak Bluffs are open, and owner Larkin Stallings says he is ready for a great summer.

Last year, Dilly’s took over the kitchen at the Ritz, and will continue to serve up all sorts of Mexican fare through the bar.

The offerings and layout of the Ritz will remain similar to last year, with a to-go program and online ordering that streamlined service during the COVID closure. “If you came to the Ritz last year when we had Dilly’s running the kitchen for us, it’s pretty much the same as that,” Stallings said.

He said he is excited to eventually bring in the Island musicians that make the Ritz so special, but guidance and restrictions surrounding public events this summer are still tenuous. “We are all kind of waiting with bated breath for the powers that be to allow us to bring in entertainment again, which is really kind of what the heart and soul of the Ritz is,” Stallings said. “No predictions on that, it could be June, it could be July, it could be August, but we will be ready.”

According to Stallings, he is just happy to be back open, serving some familiar faces and getting things going for the impending busy season.

All the Ritz staff went to Florida to work during the winter, but Stallings said they are all back this season, along with some promising new hires.

Although the Ritz saw a drastic decrease in business last summer, Stallings said he sees promise in this upcoming season, and so far they are “off to a really good start.”

“Last season was way down from the season before. But we are in a particularly good position because we own the building; we can survive some pretty big downturns and still be OK,” he said.

Stallings has been hearing from some of his regulars around town about how excited they are that the Ritz is open again. “I think that most people on-Island were pretty isolated this winter, so just getting to see each other, even if it’s mask to mask, it’s still better than Zoom,” he said.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Larkin,
    Congratulations on making it through this most unbelievable year! Now let me ask all patrons to please use common sense and keep yourselves and others safe as we return to support The Ritz and all the local musicians whom we’ve so badly missed for the past year. Let’s continue to use caution; after we’ve made all this progress we don’t want to have a relapse and cause any more unnecessary infections.

  2. Yes, people who deal with isolation and loneliness by going to bars are known for being careful and considerate of the health of others— especially after a drink or two— or five. I’m glad the Ritz is in good shape to withstand the downturns, and that the staff got to spend the winter in covid-invitation-heaven-Florida, but we are in for surges unless the warmer weather and vaccinated public can rule. Being indoors with others without masks, drinking and eating and having a great time is reckless and, frankly, idiotic at this point, until we are as certain as possible that we are in control of the virus. This is a way to undo the year of sacrifices. Smart people, even fully vaccinated, will avoid (like the plague) these dangerous venues. But yeah, I’m sure the regulars are super excited.

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