CT Restaurants Must Close at 9:30, Danbury Mayor Reacts
Our sister station spoke to Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton in his regular weekly spot on Thursday (November 5). This week, the Mayor was asked for his thoughts on the new Connecticut mandate that restaurants close their doors by 9:30 PM for dine-in customers. This statewide COVID-19 mandate begins Friday.
During the interview, Mayor Mark said, "It is definitely a burden for restaurants, legitimate restaurants that are out there that do serve food late night. You still can do takeout after 9:30, but you're right, you have to close your dining room down. The problem is you have the pseudo, fake, fugazi restaurants that really are nightclubs that masquerade as a restaurant that don't open until 9 o'clock and maybe serve one chicken tender from McDonald's. They say they're serving food and have people dancing on the tables."
"So, that's where the Governor is going after and it's been an issue here in Danbury although, I have to say, I don't know if I told you guys, we did a lot of patrolling on Halloween night and the night before Halloween and 99% of those fugazi restaurants/clubs, they were compliant, they did a good job, said Danbury's mayor. "People were wearing masks, they were separated, the whole thing."
Later, the Mayor compared this situation to one from last year that related to massage parlors in the Hat City, saying, "We did a massage ordinance and we are just finishing it but one of the things I put in there was I know it, when I see it. So, the Director of Health can walk in and he or she will know, OK this is a legitimate place where you get therapeutic massage and then we know this is not so legitimate, you know, you can tell, right? So, it should be the same thing with this. The Governor should give latitude to Directors of Health to say, 'I know it when I see it, these people are flouting the law, they are closed at 9:30, but this place over here is legitimately operating a restaurant and they serve food deep into the night and they should be allowed to stay open.'"
At this point, the Mayor was interrupted and asking if he has made, or will make, this suggestion to Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont. He responded by saying, "I will be making it to him. I have not yet, I've been giving that latitude to local Health Departments. We will help them discern who is faking it and who is real. They know, I know who they are, and you know too."
After we aired this interview went live yesterday morning, we received a message from a local woman and friend of the station who is a server in our area. She told us she has lost all of her waitress shifts because of this. How will she pay her bills? We did not have any answers for her.
This is a portion of the entire interview with the Mayor from yesterday morning: