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Billy's Journal

We decided to close Barnacle Billy’s, Etc. for the day. Normally, we would open at 5:00 PM EDT today. Instead, we are closed because we do not have enough kitchen staff, a bartender and servers. Why? Because so many are sick. Covid, you ask? Sort of; one is out who tested positive for Covid-19. The others are out because they have the flu! Two days ago, everyone was tested for Covid-19 at this restaurant. They all came back negative. This was precautionary and the routine we ride when someone tests positive for Covid-19, the one person who I just alluded to. Barnacle Billy’s (Original) opened at 11:00 AM this morning and will close at 8:00 PM tonight. So if you came a distance and wanted to eat at Etc, at least you will be able to have some of the things we offer at Etc, at Original. Original does not have fried food, steaks, salmon, scallops or haddock.

I often wonder what my father would say if he knew what was going on now? Would he approve of the way I have been handling things here? I have been making the decisions. But my crew has been making it happen. They surmounted the logistical challenges that came with closing Barnacle Billy’s, Etc. in 2020, leaving the kitchen open and having food runners bring fried food next door to Original. They made it work exactly the way I wanted it. They have come up with solutions ever since. Every day there seems to be some new challenge that I haven’t seen before. And this is unlike all the years before the 2020 season.

The plan is to stay open seven days a week at both restaurants. We have done this at Original since we opened in 1961. I closed Etc. in 2020 because of Covid-19. Last season I opened Etc but we couldn’t stay open all seven days. I’m hoping that after today’s closing that we can stay open daily. But it might be prudent to close one day a week until Memorial Day or even July 1. I’m having a meeting tomorrow here at Etc. to discuss this. I’ll let you know if I make a change from being open seven days a week here at Etc.

Since we opened April 8th, we have seen the windiest spring we have had in twenty-five years. This from my fishing records I keep at home. We have never canceled so many fishing trips on my Bunny Clark in this period of time. Likewise, it’s been consistently cool for too many days in a row. We had three days where the high air temperature for the day was over 60°F. But most of the days have seen a high of around 50°F, more or less. And there were a few days that never did reach the 50°F plateau. Despite it all, business has been good. And this I am grateful for. Besides, who doesn’t like a day sitting in the dining room at Original with the fires blazing enjoying a rum punch with steamers and hot lobsters knowing that it’s windy and cool outside? Still, you can’t beat sitting on the deck overlooking Perkins Cove under a warm sun with your favorite beverage and food on the warm slate table in front of you. As sure as we have to pay taxes, warmer weather is headed our way!


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