An Open Letter to Governor Gina Raimondo from the Owners of the Thirsty Beaver

by guest
The Thirsty Beaver

As we reflect 24hrs after Governor Raimondo’s latest weekly press conference, we felt obligated to express ourselves as members of the community who earn a respectable living in the restaurant and hospitality industry in the State of Rhode Island.

At our locations, we have done all in our power to comply with State mandates. We have done so to not only keep our doors open, but also to keep staff and guests safe through unprecedented times. We have been on countless calls with State leadership including DBR and DOH thru all three reopening phases to help us properly understand the new and evolving guidelines. We have worked with trade organizations Ocean State Alliance and RI Hospitality Association to provide input during the reopening process after being closed for months.  We were happy to have a seat at the table and we were appreciative our opinions were valued during these discussions. We have given the Governor much praise thru this crisis for keeping us all as safe as possible.

Unfortunately, the path most recently taken by State leadership targeting our industry has been disgraceful.  Last week our industry endured being Covid-shamed as a category of businesses that weren’t doing enough to impose upon the general public to comply with guidelines.  Press conference quotes, tweets, and hashtags threatening shut downs were used as fear tactics that created an uneasy work environment.  This week, an 11pm ‘bar area’ curfew was hastily announced sending hysteria into our industry without any discussion, consideration, or consultation with our industry representatives.  From there, media outlets have run with misleading and overreaching headlines that continue to cause mass confusion for consumers who are made to believe that all restaurant activity ends at 11pm statewide.

Our message today is two-fold; first to express our wholehearted frustration with the recent path taken by the Governor’s office as it pertains to restaurants, and second to inform patrons that our hours of operation will continue as-is.  We have not opened our ‘bar areas’ for seating.  Our seating is restricted to indoor and outdoor dining tables which we will continue to service until 1am closing hour in the same compliant manner that we have since reopening.

We respectfully ask that the Governor and her task force teams to identify the businesses who defy regulations and isolate any penalties, fines, hashtags, and headlines to those bad actors instead of blanket statements and rash policies that negatively affect an entire industry.

Jeff Quinlan
Justin Erickson
Ed Brady 


Shar November 10, 2020 - 3:19 pm

I agree KF. why hasn’t the General Assembly stepped in. Gina is out of control! enough is enough. it’s funny, casinos are still open because the state gets a piece of the pie.

totally fed up. SD

KF August 22, 2020 - 1:51 pm

WE need to stop walking around in this rationalized hypnosis. Take back your minds, health and freedoms empowering oneself to stop allowing government to run ones life.
When one realizes the truth, freedom and health is empowered. NO government official or leader has that right to make those choices for one unless one doesnt know ones rights.
They are confusing people on purpose with language such as mandates and requirements for so called health measures that have never been proven to be effective…..even the corrupted cdc and who have acknowledged.
Thats why they are not LAWS or even recognized business regulations or standards. They are guidelines of suggestions and recommendations. It is all pure deception and one of the oldest social and culture manipulation tricks to confuse population into civil unrest by dividing amongst to do their dirty work for them while self complying against the fabric of this countrys laws of the land that seperates us from dictatorships.
Stop complying with these unlawful and unhealthy edicts that are being used to divide and distract .
Government is not going to stop with the agenda until WE (the rightful government) push back.
This has been bass ackwards…wake up.

Mark August 8, 2020 - 5:19 am

She is Only doing this so it Forces people to go to the 2 State Run Casinos and waste THIER money and it generates monies for her!!


John August 7, 2020 - 4:22 pm

This really isn’t surprising though. People don’t follow guidelines and stores don’t enforce them. Add all the tourists and beach goers and it makes perfect sense we are now seeing a rise in cases again. Reopening the hospitality industry was probably a bad move to begin with, definitely doing so right before tourist season.

An accountant August 7, 2020 - 12:04 am

Wait until PPP money dries out…. with the mandates and volume restrictions, it’s not looking good….

Wendy Logan August 6, 2020 - 10:12 pm

That might have been a charming “teaching moment” back in the day at an elementary school, but these business owners are knocking themselves out trying to eek out MAYBE 1/4-1/3 of their annual income while following every new mandate thrown at them. They are trying desperately to keep their heads above water and are certainly a tight-knit group, but asking them to try to police their peers right now is absurd. They’re making a reasonable request of the Governor’s office to confine its “reprimands” to those who need them. Give them a break.

lisaniebels August 6, 2020 - 7:32 pm

The state should compensate the workers that are unable to work because of pandemic. The state needs to lock it down and keep us safe. Recreational drinking and eating are not essential.

Wendy Hughes August 6, 2020 - 4:56 pm

Well you know what they say, one person can ruin it for the whole the group. You should encourage the other people that operate bars and restaurants to also be as vigilant as you have been. This needs to be a group effort. We, as individuals, are all being punished by travel restrictions likely because of the actions of a few. So instead of sending a letter to the Governor, send a letter to the other establishments and encourage them to be responsible also so that everyone is not punished. As an industry if you ban together and commit to following guidelines and write letters to those who are not, it might just work.


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