Bars and restaurants are about to get a little help ahead of summer.

On May 29, people in Massachusetts will no longer have to order food when they order an alcoholic drink. Table sizes and capacity limits will also increase.

It's good news for an industry hit hard by the pandemic, said Jody Adams, a founding member of the advocacy group Massachusetts Restaurants United.

Adams, who is also the chef/owner of a handful of restaurants in Boston, said that recent reports indicate at least 25% of restaurants shuttered during the pandemic. Others that were able to keep their doors opened pivoted sharply, finding new ways to meet state health regulations to stay open. All in all, Adams thinks people are ready to make their way back to their favorite spots.

"Restaurants are beautiful places where fabulous things happen," Adams said. "And we have missed that so much. We have all missed those amazing connections that we make with staff members, you know, [that] customers make with servers or the person they see cooking behind the line who they see every Thursday night when they go in. Everyone has missed that incredible community that restaurants offer. So I'm really excited about the summer and about things opening up and people being responsible and cautious about how they proceed."

We also checked in with Mimi Loureiro, founder of O2 Yoga in Somerville. The studio is preparing to welcome back fully vaccinated students starting in June. But Loureiro said she and her staff are still trying to figure out what "normal" will look like as the state continues re-opening.

Click on the audio player above to listen to the full episode.


Mike Deehan - 2:27
Mimi Loureiro - 7:58
Jody Adams - 18:56