With Gov. Charlie Baker signing a bill into law Friday, restaurants throughout the Commonwealth providing delivery and takeout options during the COVID-19 pandemic can now also offer wine and beer in a move that allows customers the convenience of “one-stop shopping” while, with any luck, generating some more much-needed income for these establishments.
“Although it was a rocky start for state and city government, we’re all trying to do the best we can, and having the ability to offer wine and beer for takeout and delivery is a great thing all-around,” said Babak Bina, who along with his sister, Azita Bina-Seibel, owns and operates Bin 26 Enoteca at 26 Charles St., which is currently offering delivery via Uber Eats, as well as takeout.
Bin 26’s wine list is now available online at bin26.com, and the restaurant is working to offer beer and wine delivery with food orders via Uber Eats “as way to make it one-stop shopping, and to reduce visits to stores,” Bina said.
“We’ve put together a selection of wine that is reasonably priced by restaurant standards,” Bina said, “and we’re also offering wine from our cellar at a 50-precent discount for takeout and delivery until further notice.”
State Rep. Jay Livingstone wrote, “Restaurants are struggling right now and the State has to help. I hope this is the first of many different ways in which the State helps the restaurant industry survive this crisis and recover from it.”
Ali Ringenburg, co-president of the Beacon Hill Business Association, also encouraged this initiative.
“Anything that the state can do to loosen restrictions is great,” Ringenburg said, “and they understand a lot of these restaurants have inventory that would be helpful to move.”
Leo Fonseca, senior vice president of operations for The Lyons Group, which among other establishments, owns and operates Harvard Gardens at 316 Cambridge St. – another restaurant that continues to offer delivery via Grub Hub and takeout during the COVID-19 crises – is above all else thankful that this new measure is able to provide their customers with expanded service in these precarious times.
“We really appreciate what the governor and his administration are trying to do by giving us this opportunity, and we hope there is an increase in sales and revenue related to this initiative,” Fonseca said. “Beyond that, we think it’s an excellent opportunity to provide a service for the neighborhood clientele so they can one-stop shop in this time of social distancing by picking up a bottle of wine or ordering beer, and not having to go somewhere else and further put themselves at risk.”