Walsh Eases Restrictions to Allow Boston Restaurants to Sell Groceries

When Mayor Martin J. Walsh temporarily eased restrictions last Friday to allow Boston restaurants to sell groceries, Earls Kitchen + Bar at the Prudential Center already had a jump on things since the restaurant’s location in Somerville’s Assembly Square had begun providing the service about a week earlier.

“We are extremely grateful for Mayor Walsh’s decision to allow restaurants to sell groceries,” said Lynn MacDonald, regional director for Earls Boston and Virginia locations. “For Earls, the main purpose of the grocery program is to make life easier for the community.”

Earls Grocery at Earls Prudential Center now offers a selection of grocery staples including cooking kits, produce and home essentials available for pickup through online ordering or delivery through DoorDash and Uber Eats, as well as meal kits selected by the restaurant’s chefs. Brunch Kits include do-it-yourself packages designed to be cooked at home with a selection of resturant favorites like the Eggs Benedict Kit for-two and Chorizo Hash Kit for-two, and a Protein Freezer Pack offers a selection of frozen meat, along with salmon filets. Produce Packs, Pantry Packs and a Dairy and Egg Pack also are available while the Grocery List and Home Essentials menus include everyday household items like eggs, bacon, coffee and even toilet paper.

“We are aware that with grocery stores forming lines and some products being out of stock, and in past couple of weeks, the community really trying to stay in and abide by social distancing guidelines that we have a really great access to a supply chain,” MacDonald said.  “So if we can use this supply chain with the highest quality and freshest ingredients, we can get the community the resources it wants in the safest way possible without having to be in a grocery store or in crowds. Why it’s so attractive is


can order online and pay from home, and when they come to pick up their order, it’s all ready and waiting for them.”

Earls has also launched Earls Liquor Store at the Prudential Center, offering a handpicked selection of wine, beers, ciders, and hard seltzers at competitive retail prices for takeout and delivery.

And if the Assemble Row is any indication MacDonald expects business for Earls at the Prudential Center to be brisk as well.

“The phones have been ringing nonstop in Assembly Row, so we anticipate it’ll be similar at our Prudential location,” she said. “The feedback has been incredible, and guests are saying thank you for offering one-stop shopping where they can pick up groceries, alcohol, and household items, including toilet paper and soap.”

Both Earls Grocery and Earls Liquor are currently available daily from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. for pickup orders by calling the Prudential Center location at 857-957-0949. To view the complete offerings and for online ordering, visit https://earls.ca/locations/prudential-center.

Harvard Gardens, which has already been offering delivery via Grub Hub and takeout, is expanding its services by providing essential grocery and household items for pickup only at 316 Cambridge St.

“We’re going to start offering groceries and household items, like paper towels, toilet paper, milk, eggs and butter for pick-up, but the plan is not to open a grocery store,” said Leo Fonseca, senior vice president of operations for The Lyons Group, which among other establishments, owns and operates Harvard Gardens “We don’t want to be in the grocery-store business, but we’re doing this as a convenience to the neighborhood. We’ll offer basic items that if you our out of, it’s a pain in the neck to go to the grocery store and potentially put themselves and others at risk for.”

Customers can call Harvard Gardens at 617-523-2727 to place their order and pay by the phone. Their groceries and other items will then be bagged and waiting for them to pick up at the restaurant. “Therefore, there’s no transaction because essentially you just walk through the door and pick it up,” Fonseca added.

According to a statement from the city, its new temporary policy and guidance that allow Boston restaurants to sell grocery items was drafted by the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development, the Inspectional Services Department and the city’s Licensing Board to not only  provide residents with greater access to food and essential items, but also to help ensure that social-distancing guidelines continue to be upheld.

“This is an unprecedented time for all of us in the City of Boston, and our administration is prioritizing how best to keep our residents safe and healthy, while also supporting our businesses and some of our City’s most vulnerable residents,” Mayor Walsh said in a press release. “By allowing restaurants to also sell grocery and other essential items, we can help address social distancing concerns in grocery stores while supporting restaurants and food businesses during these unprecedented times.”

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