With the expiration of the New Hampshire stay-at-home order on June 15, which has been in effect since late March due to COVID, there are now no restrictions on the number of people who can gather in groups, and more businesses are starting to reopen. However, the state still advises people to remain cautious about gathering in big groups and encourages the use of masks.
WIth these cautions in mind, Andover Town Administrator Marjorie Roy said they are working on a plan that would allow access to the Town Offices by two people at a time. At the time the July issue of the Beacon went to press, the Town Offices remained closed, except by appointment. To contact the Town Clerk-Tax Collector’s office call 735-5018, or e-mail TCTC@nullAndover-NH.gov. Updates can be found on the Town’s website at Andover-NH.gov.
The Andover Libraries have been offering curbside delivery, and the library trustees are now discussing how and when they will reopen the buildings for inside use. No announcements have been received from the State Library, which has not yet resumed Inter-Library Loan service.
The Andover branch of the Bar Harbor Bank and Trust is now allowing customers to conduct business inside again. Changes have been made to the lobby traffic flow to ensure proper distancing between people, and masks are being required of all customers entering the branch. Hand sanitizer has been made available.
According to Immaculate Conception Catholic Church’s website, the church has opened its doors for public weekend masses but will be adhering to the many restrictions dictated by the Manchester Diocese. For details, visit olfic.org.
Kearsarge Unitarian Universalist Fellowship at the Stone Chapel on the Proctor campus has not yet reopened. They are offering Zoom virtual services through June and will be taking a break during July and August. For more information visit KUUFnh.org.
The Andover Community Church (AndoverCommunityNH.org) in East Andover is offering two in-person services on Sundays throughout the summer, one of which is available by Zoom. All safety precautions have been taken into account with seating and taking communion.
Our local restaurants, which have been restricted to take-out or outdoor dining only, may now offer indoor dining, but only to the extent that tables can be kept six feet apart with a maximum of six people per table. This reduces serving capacity, more so for some smaller restaurants. Additionally, the rules for sanitizing condiments, tables, and any surface, are very strict for each use.
Other than JJ’s Market and Deli and the Circle K convenience store, both of which have always been take-out and which remained open, there are four Andover food establishments that were affected to one degree or another during the severe restrictions imposed by the state. These include the Blackwater Junction Restaurant, Pizza Chef, The Kitchen, and The Refinery.
On their Facebook page, the Blackwater Junction Restaurant announced that they would be open as of June 17, serving at 50 percent seating capacity (to maintain the six foot/six person rule) and 100 percent take-out capacity. They had closed down in March due to the stay-at-home restrictions.
Pizza Chef announced on their Facebook page that they had decided, after careful consideration, to keep serving outside rather than risk opening up the dining area inside the restaurant. They also have a take-out window that they encourage patrons to use. As of this writing, delivery service has been discontinued.
The Kitchen Andover continues to offer an outdoor seating area, a take-out window, and now allows inside ordering. The floor is marked to direct the flow of foot traffic, ordering, and pick-up. To ensure safety, clear plastic walls have been added to the counter area. Orders can be called in ahead of time, as always. Indoor seating is not yet being offered.
The Refinery, which had been open for take-out and outdoor dining, reopened their indoor seating after the stay-at-home orders expired. Here again, they must adhere to spacing requirements of maintaining a six-foot distance between tables, and only six diners per table. They are requiring reservations or a call ahead.
For more information or updates about any of the above restaurants please visit their Facebook pages or websites. Please eat local and help to support our Andover businesses.