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Four businesses in Portland have found a way to beat coronavirus restrictions that would otherwise keep them closed by reclassifying themselves as a type of businesses allowed to reopen.
Novare Res, Sagamore Hill Lounge, Tomaso’s Canteen and Rising Tide Brewing, which were all previously licensed as Class A lounges, have been issued restaurant licenses, allowing them to reopen now, the Portland Press Herald reported. Under Gov. Janet Mills’ multi-stage restart plan, lounges, bars and tasting rooms can reopen in Androscoggin, Cumberland, and York counties as soon as July 1. No date has been set.
Portland leaders have worked to try to help businesses survive the pandemic. The Portland City Council voted unanimously in mid-May to help downtown survive the pandemic by closing some city streets for months to allow stores and restaurants to operate outdoors starting June 1.
The plan’s goal: to loosen restrictions and reduce fees to help businesses — such as bars, restaurants and retailers — expand into nearby public and private spaces, such as sidewalks or plazas. Small stretches of Dana, Exchange, Milk and Wharf streets have been closed to traffic.
The businesses that have been allowed to open all met the state requirements to downgrade their licenses from Class A lounges, according to Jessica Hanscombe, licensing and housing safety manager for the city of Portland. The state is allowing the changes, the Press Herald reported.