NEW NOTE: THERE ARE NEW RESTRICTIONS GOING INTO PLACE. RESTAURANT “EAT IN” BAN EFFECTIVE TUEDAY
Folks, the governor just had a press conference (3/15 around 7:30pm) announcing the following regarding restaurants and businesses:
Any restaurant, bar or establishment that offers food or drink shall not permit on-premises consumption. These establishments may continue to offer food for takeout or delivery, effective Tuesday. Establishments must also follow social distancing protocols outlined in the department of public health guidance. This order does not apply to grocery stores or pharmacies, Baker said. “This is about bars and restaurants and those places people do not absolutely have to go,” he said.
Gatherings of over 25 people will be prohibited, including all community, civic, public, leisure, faith-based events, sporting events with spectators, concerts, conventions, and any similar event or activity that brings together 25 or more people in a single room or a single space at the same time. This includes venues like fitness centers, private clubs and theaters. This order amends last week’s guidance that prohibited gatherings of 250 people or more.
This post is going to be a continually updated resource on ways that you, stuck at home during this period of social distancing (which is the FIRST way you should be supporting the community right now) can financially or in other ways support local businesses and organizations, and each other, during this crisis.
Just a reminder, stay home! wash/sanitize your hands properly if you have to go somewhere and don’t touch your face, and be kind. EDIT: Folks, I can’t advise you on whether or not to leave your house to go to a restaurant…I do know that I am not going to do so. And if you do, take it under advisement to avoid CROWDED spaces and that social distancing (6 feet away from others, proper sanitizing, don’t touch your face) MUST BE PRACTICED. And DO NOT GO IF YOU ARE SICK.
I have put links and details where I have them. Any corrections, additions, or notes you have are appreciated!
Support Local Restaurants with TEE SHIRTS!
This local t-shirt company has a line of shirts to help workers at local restaurants. Look stylish and support local!
Local Food Markets!
There is a new post up about local food markets you could stock up at (and help support local businesses at the same time
Local Support and Aid
*** Lifting Lowellians: Assistance and Mutual Aid (LLAMA) ***
Submit offers of help or requests for a need at this google form for the newly formed LLAMA network, a local mutual aid group, for things like childcare, cooking, storage space, and many other services.
Fundraiser For Downtown Bar and Restaurant Workers
There is a GoFundMe for supporting downtown workers whose restaurants, and hence, their jobs, are closed.
School Meals for Kids During School Closings
From Lowell Public Schools post on 3/15: “We are pleased to have been able to add 4 more locations for our grab and go lunch service while school is closed. We will now be offering lunch at a total of 9 sites during the weekdays from March 16-March 27.” More details at the above link.
Greater Lowell Community Foundation COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund
Due to the rising concern of the impact of the COVID-19 virus , particularly on vulnerable populations in our community, such as the elderly, low-income and homeless, the Greater Lowell Community Foundation is starting the GLCF COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund to support the unanticipated needs of those nonprofits serving our community during these uncertain times. Requests have come into the foundation for funds to cover unforeseen costs of needs including: portable sinks, antibacterial supplies, lunch bags and supplies as well as prepackaged food. The Community Foundation has seeded the GLCF COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund with an initial amount of $10,000. GLCF will accept community donations and working in concert with our public health departments, will strategically grant to local nonprofits serving those affected by the COVID-19 virus.
Social Distancing Support Network (SDSN)
This is a Facebook-based group, largely local but not limited to. From the About page: “We are here to build a community to support us through our Social Distancing Efforts. Play games, make friends, learn things. Together we are strong.” You will see such things as virtual coffee meetups, remote role playing game sessions, and much more. If you feel you need some human contact, this group will facilitate that!
Lowell Humane Society
The Lowell Humane Society is a location for free pet food if families are hitting financial difficulties (both during this pandemic and always). You can donate here, as well, to support their mission.
Help for Small Businesses
MA Small businesses impacted by the Corona virus: visit the MEMA website and assist by completing the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan Worksheet and Instructions and submitting it ASAP to MEMA.
Some Unemployment Restrictions Will Be Lifted
According to the Governor’s recent press conference (3/15):
Some requirements will be relaxed around current unemployment claims, allowing many workers who are affected by closures to get some financial relief faster.
Emergency legislation will be filed to allow new claims to be paid more quickly by waiving the one-week waiting period for unemployment benefits that currently exist under state law.
Emergency regulations will be filed to expand eligibility around collecting unemployment for people who have been impacted by COVID-19.
An Incomplete List of Businesses and Organizations to Support
Please note: things are changing by the hour so please check with any of these businesses and orgs yourself to ensure up to date information. And take precautions if getting deliveries. The virus can live on various materials for long enough to be brought into your home. I encourage you to have a rigorous sanitizing process having something (food, goods, meals) delivered.
I will also mention, as a friend of mine noted, buying an e-gift card is a purchase deferred. This will mean that while increasing cash flow for the business right now (which is essential), later on when you redeem it, it will create a small cash crunch (a purchase you might have made is now just a redemption). Think about staggering your redemption of these gift cards later on, instead of using them all at once, and consider using these gift cards as “extra” purchases on top of your normal buying later, if you are financially able to do so.
NOTE: GrubHub and Uber Eats are suspending their delivery fees or other fees, in order to facilitate your meal delivery!
I am placing Vinaan Cafe out of alphabetical order for a good reason. The owners of this relatively recently opened local cafe are not only worried about losing their business during this hard time, but also expecting a new baby very soon. I wanted to pay special attention to supporting them.
Update from Vinaan’s owner Sally Nhi:
We will be open from 8am-5pm for takeouts and delivery only. We also have giftcards in the store too. Also if anybody especially elderly, sick and disable people who needs food, just let them know that I personally will bring food to them. We will help out as much as we can. Just send me a message via facebook/instagram. If anybody also wants to join the deliver team for people in need, please let me know. Stay strong together and show other communities that we are one!
Their # is (978) 458-4080. I can’t determine hours, but I believe they are similar to most cafes, open breakfast and lunch, pending the new bundle of impending joy! They partner with UberEats and Grubhub. Sally says her husband will even deliver food himself if somebody does not use those apps or needs emergency food.
AG Hardware at 776 Lakeview Ave, Lowell, is a locally owned hardware store. From them: “We love our community and if you need assistance, please call us at 978-458-8456. We will do our best to find you what you need.” They now do have online e-gift cards to buy! So support your local hardware store.
New hours for the time being: 11am-8pm Sunday through Thursday; and 11am-9pm Friday & Saturday.
Aunt Margaret’s Yarn and Gift Shop
Aunt Margaret’s Yarn and Gift Shop, 165 Princeton St., North Chelmsford–next to Mahoney’s. No online shopping or e-cards, but might be a reason to (carefully) leave your house if you are in need of materials for a project if (like me) you plan on doing some crochet or knitting projects. Call the store for hours (978-251-2272) to be sure they are still open.
A great poke place downtown (I loooove poke!). You can call ahead or email orders for takeout, 978-455.7511 or Bigpokefresh@gmail.com, and they have GrubHub delivery.
Brew’d Awakening Coffeehaus
Still open as per their Facebook page (practice social distancing, 6 feet between you and others). There are items in their online store, from their bags of coffee, to shirts and mugs. No online e-card I can see so far. They do Uber Eats delivery of their coffee and food.
Chowder Factory produces chowders, chilis, soups and stews, and prepared seafood appetizers, as well as items like chicken pot pie and meatballs, etc. They appear not to be modifying their hours (check their Facebook page for updates) and have even offered to feed school kids who face hunger issues now that school is closed. Stocking up on their soups must be done in person though, and no online e-cards, so be sure to practice social distancing (sorry if this is getting tiresome, but stay 6 feet away from others!) and sanitizing if you choose to do this.
Cobblestones and Moonstones
Cobblestones of Lowell and Moonstones of Chelmsford (same owner) offer online gift cards on their respective websites. I also see Cobblestones has GrubHub delivery, and Moonstones works with DoorDash and GrubHub third party delivery. Per Greater Lowell Chamber: “The Stones Hospitality Group is coming up with a plan. Stay tuned, we’ll update this information as soon as possible!”
Coffee and Cotton, Luna Theatre, Dows
The entire Mill No. 5 complex is closed until further notice, including Luna Theatre. This online gift certificate is good for all three for when they open again. I’ve already indulged. Can’t wait to redeem it for a milkshake, movie, and sandwich!
The Corner Cafe
The Corner Cafe on Lawrence St in Lowell serves breakfast and lunch. There is nothing specific on their Facebook page about the current situation. Unfortunately, there is no third party delivery service that I can find, or online e-gift purchases.
Crafts By Noelle
A local maker of chocolates for all occasions, diaper cakes, crafts & more. She has a Facebook page where you can inquire.
The Donut Shack
This local favorite appears to still be open as per their Facebook posts. They are at 487 Westford St, Lowell. If visiting don’t forget to practice social distancing (6 feet between you and others) and proper hand sanitizing.
Like all restaurants now, food is limited to takeout and delivery. If picking up, practice social distancing (6 feet between you and others). Lowell location, (978) 323-0424; Westford location, (978) 392-3636. No online e-cards that I can see. You can buy e-gift cards here!
Good Thymes Family Restaurant
Good Thymes Family Restaurant at 1278 Gorham St, 978-441-2799, is a local American style family restaurant. They are now limited to takeout, check their Facebook page for updates. Their website does say they do gift certificates, but there’s no way to get them online. Give them a call and see if you can do it over the phone. Practice good social distancing when picking up please, and wash hands/don’t touch face yadda yadda.
Heritage Farm Ice Cream & Restaurant
Take out is available by calling 978-459-0802 for pick up or doordash for delivery. The take out window is also open for ice cream orders.
Jimmy’s Pizza Too
From their post on Facebook: Jimmys Pizza Too will remain open for takeout and delivery as specified by the current state requirements. We will be open 11 am – 11 pm, 7 days a week. Along with servicing our normal delivery area, we also offer delivery through UberEats, DoorDash and Grub hub. We are here to service you through these changing times. We thank you for supporting small business and wish health and strength to all.
This local pub is assessing their options and is closed for now. They are considering making prepared meals for carry out and delivery starting this Friday (3/20)). (978)455-3666 on 110 Gorham St, Lowell. Currently no third party delivery service or e-gift cards, but I’m sure they are working on it.
Lenzi’s (Dracut, MA)
They are in the process of setting up a tent in front of Lenzi’s for pick up only. Corned beef and cabbage dinners will be available beginning Tuesday (while supplies last). Chicken Pot Pies will be available with sides for pick up. Stay tuned for more details, we’ll post them asap!
From a recent post on FB: The book-launch and signing scheduled for April 11 for “Atlantic Currents: Connecting Cork and Lowell,” an anthology with 65 writers associated with Cork, Ireland, and Lowell, Mass., has been cancelled due to the virus crisis. Contributing writers will receive a complimentary copy of the book by mail within ten days.
Everyone who would like to get a copy can order the book online at www.loompress.com You will receive the book within a week of ordering. All earnings from U.S. sales will benefit Lowell: City of Learning, which promotes lifelong community learning and is a partner with the Learning City project in Cork, Ireland, a member of the global Learning Cities network of UNESCO. Sales in Ireland will benefit Cork Learning City. Our friends in Cork cancelled their book-launch also because of the crisis.
Merrimack Repertory Theatre
As per their post on 3/14, the Merrimack Rep has postponed the rest of its season. “The Lowell Offering, originally scheduled to begin next week, will now play May 14 to June 7. Erma Bombeck: At Wit’s End will play a shortened schedule from June 17-28, with a final week of performances July 7-12. Further information regarding the May 29 gala will be released soon.”
It’s hard to know where the nation will be in a couple of months, so this schedule might be subject to change, but you can purchase tickets in advance for the rescheduled shows, or just donate directly to the organization.
Mill City BBQ & Brew
This now-downtown BBQ joint still appears open as per their Facebook page. 11 Kearney Sq., Lowell, 978-710-6429. They do take out. They appear to have GrubHub’s delivery service. (Call the business if you have any questions.) Practice social distancing (6 feet away from others) and proper sanitizing if picking up.
Mill City Cheesemongers
They are officially closed to the public, however, you can still get your cheese fix and support New England cheesemakers with delivery or drive-up pickups! Info is here.
Mill City Grows
If you don’t know this superstar local org by now, a quick description: they host community gardens all around the city, and are helping to bring healthy veggies and food to places with less access. They are posting updates on this page. I imagine not having market access is hurting them right now, so send them a donation.
Mill No. 5 Shops
Mill No. 5 is closed for the foreseeable future. Please take a look at the list of Mill No. businesses and help those you can.
The Old Court
The Old Court, a favorite Irish pub in downtown Lowell, has done an amazingly selfless thing, and closed down until further notice. From their post:
Hey folks in light of the escalating pandemic, we’re going to shut down The Old Court effective immediately. This obviously is a last resort particularly as we approach St Patrick’s Day but recent developments in Europe clearly demonstrate that we are on the verge of a massive outbreak here unless we take immediate action. The only effective way to slow down the spread of the virus is to prevent large gatherings and stay home for an extended period of time. This disease is extremely contagious and poses a huge threat to the elderly and vulnerable in our society. PLEASE listen to the experts and start taking this seriously. We plan on reopening as soon as it is responsible to do so and rest assured we will party like the end of prohibition 🙂
In the meantime take a step back, catch up on life and look after one another. Be safe and see you soon.
I can’t say how much I admire them for doing this. I am looking to find out how we might be able to support them during this shutdown, and will update this post if notified of one. At a minimum, when this is all over, I say we celebrate with a fish n chips and beer (or cider, in my case, beer is gross!) at The Old Court.
Panela is a Columbian style restaurant and they do delivery! They are offering free delivery for orders over $10, and they are keeping people updated on their Facebook page regarding the current situation. From the GLCC: “Place your order at 978-455-2868 and receive free delivery on any orders $10 or more in the City of Lowell (breakfast, lunch and dinner).”
Pawsitively Yummy, 440 Middlesex Rd., Tyngsboro, a pet supplies store. Still appears open according to their last posts on Facebook. No online presence I can find.
Purple Carrot Bread Co.
Purple Carrot Bread Co. in downtown Lowell is a breakfast and lunch place. Starting 3/16, they are doing take and bake meals for you to preorder, hopefully limiting your contact with others while filling your belly. (978) 455-4188 and they are located at 107 Merrimack St, Lowell. Remember to practice your social distancing, 6 feet minimum, clean hands and don’t touch your face! I also see Grubhub and DoorDash delivery. They thank their customers for supporting them…they have had enough bread orders to run out two days in a row! Keep it coming!
Red Antler Apothecary
Red Antler Apothecary, located at Mill No. 5, is still doing special hours even though Mill No. 5 is closed! They will meet you downstairs to bring you up during their special hours. They do have online orders as well. They make their own soaps, hand creams, and hand sanitizer, so this business is especially important. They are offering free shipping on online orders. They also offer online e-gift cards, just click on Our Products in the menu, and click on More at the bottom to see the options for that.
Simply Khmer is an acclaimed local Cambodian restaurant. They do takeout, though I am not sure about third party delivery. They do have a small online store. I wish I could find a way to buy e-gift cards because I eat. here. all. the. time!
Shaw Farm in Dracut has their own farm-produced dairy (milk, ice cream) as well as produce, meats, and bakery items. Not only are they locally producing milk, but might be a good place to get some since milk seems to be in short supply, if you are still shopping for your stock. Practice good social distancing of 6 feet and sanitize, don’t touch your face, you know the drill.
A local restaurant with menu items from Vietnam, Thailand, Korea and Italy. Their hours remain the same for takeout and delivery. I see Grubhub, Yelp, and DoorDash options when I google for third party delivery.
Sophia’s Greek Pantry North
Sophia’s Greek Pantry North is a local Greek/Balkan specialty store located at 479 Market Street, Lowell. They have grocery and prepared foods and bakery items. And! If you contact them (call or email) through the website, they can do e-gift cards. 978-937-3899.
Sugar Coated Bakery – Dracut, MA
Place your online and phone orders by calling 978-226-8367. They will deliver your order to your car from the parking lot. You can order online gift cards via square.
As of March 18, Sweet Lydia’s is still open but with heavily modified hours (or, call ahead and they’ll let you in). You can purchase candy and chocolate, as well as apparel, online for delivery. They have reached out to me, their current sales platform does not allow e-gift cards, BUT they said they would be happy to take an order over the phone and send you one. Their number is 978-888-7616.
Two Chefs Are Better Than One Catering
Offering take out entrees for families (stay tuned for options with pricing). Orders will be delivered to your car. Email them at email@example.com or call their sales office at 978-970-0212.
Warp and Weft
This downtown favorite gastropub, music venue, gathering spot for all kinds of organizations, and regulars, Warp and Weft has multiple ways to support it. First, you can buy a gift card online. You can order online for pickup. And they are now on GrubHub and UberEats.
They have a GoFundMe set up to help them through this crisis.
The Worthen House
The Worthen House Cafe is a local standby bar and restaurant. They have stated they are closing until further notice. You might still be able to call and buy a rechargeable gift cards (though I think they are physical ones, not e-cards), and they sell gear on their website. 141 Worthen Street, Lowell, call 978-459-0300.