Mayor Curtatone & Board of Health Issue Order Allowing Restaurants to Sell Groceries
Restaurants can sell grocery items as part of pick-up and/or delivery services.
In an effort to both expand resident access to groceries and help restaurants affected by the COVID-19 crisis, Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone and the Somerville Board of Health have issued an order allowing restaurants to sell grocery items for the duration of Somerville’s local state of emergency.
Restaurants are now allowed to offer pick-up and/or delivery of grocery items, but businesses that have not previously sold direct-to-consumer grocery items must provide a detailed operations and safety plan for the storage and distribution of groceries to the Director of Inspectional Services for review and approval.
“Many of our local restaurants are hurting right now, but at the same time, grocery stores are seeing their supply lines disrupted and customers are understandably worried about being around crowds in stores,” said Mayor Curtatone. “Allowing restaurants to sell grocery items address all of those issues -- it gives residents more options when it comes to buying food, provides a new revenue stream for restaurants, and it takes some pressure off grocery stores and gives them time to restock.”
Restaurants often use different suppliers than grocery stores and may be able to carry hard-to-find items that grocery suppliers haven’t been able to restock.
"This is a win-win-win idea that came directly from the community,” said Ward 3 City Councilor Ben Ewen-Campen, who worked with the administration to advance this opportunity. “It will help support both local food producers and local restaurants, and provide more opportunities for people to pick up fresh food away from crowds."
Residents looking to find out which restaurants are offering groceries can check directly with restaurants offering pickup and delivery, all of which are listed at www.somervilledelivers.com. Starting later next week, the www.somervilledelivers.com site will also begin listing which restaurants are offering grocery service. The website is a joint effort of the Somerville Chamber of Commerce, East Somerville Main Streets, Union Square Main Streets, Velir, The Welcome Project, and the City, aimed at supporting local restaurants and residents during the COVID-19 crisis. Restaurants wishing to join the site can find information at the City’s COVID-19 business support website www.somervillema.gov/CovidBizHelp.
For more information and regular COVID-19 updates, visit www.somervillema.gov/coronavirus and sign up for City alerts at www.somervillema.gov/Alerts. We urge you to sign up for every alert method you are able to receive: phone call, text, email. Also, follow FB.com/SomervilleCity and @SomervilleCity.