Restaurant industry accuses Baker, pols of siding with liquor store lobby over businesses

Robert C. Williams

Restaurant industry advocates are accusing Gov. Charlie Baker and state lawmakers of bending to the will of “powerful package store lobbyists” over struggling restaurant owners after the Legislature and the the Baker administration passed on extending pandemic-era protections including cocktails to-go.

When Baker ends the pandemic state of emergency on June 15, the clock will start ticking on dozens of emergency orders and Massachusetts Restaurant Association President Bob Luz said that includes to-go beverages as well as a temporary cap on third-party delivery fees that have become crucial to sustaining hard-hit restaurants.

“We’re just asking for an extension of this to try to get to a firmer footing for restaurants,” Luz told the Herald.

While a provision extending outdoor dining for establishments was approved until the fall, the other restaurant provisions were conspicuously absent from a bill filed Tuesday by Baker.

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