CT Restaurant owners hoping for second stimulus as winter amid pandemic approaches


HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — From the shoreline to Willimantic, restaurant owners sounded off about the pandemic’s devastating impact in a virtual roundtable with U.S. Senator Chris Murphy Friday morning.

“It’s been difficult for my staff and myself,” said Julie Zarlengo of Willimantic’s Blondie’s Diner. “If COVID shuts us down again, there’s a few things we need. I believe that we need another supplemental unemployment assistance and we need it in a timely manner.”

Zarlengo told Senator Murphy she wants another round of stimulus help from Washington.

“No one in our industry has had a positive COVID experience. It has been devastating,” said Dan Meiser of the 85th Day Food Community in Mystic.

An overarching theme: concern about surviving the long winter months ahead without Congressional action.

U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy told the restaurant owners, “My hope is that we’re going to be able to come together on some package that we can add to the budget, that we have to pass between now and the end of the year.”

As COVID hospitalizations soar to levels unseen since spring, Governor Lamont says he’s working to keep restaurants open for now at 50% capacity.

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