Downtown Restaurant, Bar 25, Closes Due to COVID-19 Peak | News


NEWBURYPORT – Bar 25, a State Street restaurant known for its small plates and craft cocktails, announced its temporary closure on Thursday due to soaring COVID-19 infections in the state and country.

“As of December 23, 25 Newburyport Bar and 25 Ayer Bar have decided to temporarily close out of caution due to the alarming increase in COVID cases,” a statement from the restaurant read. “Our number one priority is to keep our staff, and you as safe as possible and think it’s too risky as the holiday season approaches.”

Bar 25 was initially scheduled to be closed for two weeks from December 28. But with the average national COVID-19 cases surpassing 160,000 per day this week as the omicron variant roams the country, its decision to shut down indefinitely could be followed by other restaurants and businesses in the region.

Reza Rahmani, owner of Bar 25, opened his second location this spring in Ceia’s former three-story home, located at 35 State St.

Former Ceia owner and current Brine owner Nancy Batista-Caswell said she understood Rahmani’s decision, saying he and other restaurant owners were doing what they could to protect their employees before Christmas and New Years Day.

“Everyone is very careful,” Batista-Caswell said, adding that Brine closed Thursday for five days.

When asked if she plans to shut down Brine indefinitely, Batista-Caswell said the plan was to reopen as planned while keeping an eye on whether the city imposes the same type of mandates from vaccination recently issued by Boston Mayor Michelle Wu.

“No, it won’t be long,” she said.

Batista-Caswell said local restaurateurs and small business owners have been able to stay ahead and be proactive when it comes to dealing with COVID-19 issues even if they don’t know when the next wave will come.

“Everyone is watching it closely,” she said.

When a journalist went to the restaurant Thursday afternoon, a message announced it was closed on the front door. A Facebook message to Bar 25 was not returned in time for this report.

Nathan Allard, president of the Greater Newburyport Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said temporarily shutting down a business is never an easy decision, but applauded Rahmani’s decision to put safety first and show great leadership at the same time.

“I respect Bar 25’s decision to close for security reasons and will continue to support them when they reopen,” Allard wrote in a text. “It should be up to the company to do what it believes is best for its business, its employees and the community. Whether that is in the form of a temporary shutdown a few days before the holidays or the establishment of a mask requirement. “

Dave Rogers is a reporter for the Daily News in Newburyport. Email him at: [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @ drogers41008.

Dave Rogers is a reporter for the Daily News in Newburyport. Email him at: [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @ drogers41008.


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