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January 2022

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Client Alert: Vaccine Mandate for Boston Restaurants Begins January 15

Beginning Saturday, January 15, 2022, certain food establishments in the City of Boston will be required to obtain proof of COVID-19 vaccination from customers and employees. 


Technology: Why Robotic Kiosks are the Next Hot Restaurant Format

Restaurants see them as a way to serve fresh meals just about anywhere, and some are using them to scale up fast.


After a COVID-fueled closure, Cambridge's Cantab Lounge returns

It's been a bumpy ride for anyone following the news of the Cantab Lounge. Last year, the beloved Central Square dive bar seemed set to become another pandemic casualty when its longtime owner put it up for sale.  


Restaurant Man

By Joe Bastianich

Restaurant Man is a behind the scenes memoir and success story about the highs, lows, and fast-paced demands of the restaurant industry. Joe Bastianich shares intimate and entertaining details of his culinary expedition from a local family-owned restaurant in Queens to a nationally renowned restaurateur. 



Let's Talk About Food Podcast

Episode: Holding on to Hospitality (Oct. 7, 2021)

By Louisa Kasdon

When Charles Hunter jumped the chasmic divide from NYC to Boston to helm City Winery Boston, he never bargained for a pandemic. He came with a long resume in the hospitality business with everything from a stint at IHOP (he says the boysenberries are real) and owning and managing his own spots in NYC and NJ. 

Listen on Apple Podcasts



2021 Restaurant Trends Recap


The 28th Annual “Restaurant Trends” event took place on September 13th at City Winery, Boston.  Focusing on lessons learned from COVID and changing guest expectations, it was attended by more than 150 restaurant owners and operators, service providers and professional advisors. The event, presented by the RIW’s Hospitality Group, featured remarks from Bob Luz (MRA), Charlie Perkins (Boston Restaurant Group) and Chris Shaker (RSM), and panels including Scott Kearnan (Boston Magazine), Joe Piantedosi (Piantedosi Baking Company, Inc.) Eric Papachristos (Trade, Porto, Saloniki), Peter Ungar (Tasting Counter), Rebecca Kean (Brassica Kitchen), Mayors Kim Driscoll (Salem) and Dr. Yvonne Spicer (Framingham), and Jean Lorizio, Esq. (ABCC). A portion of the proceeds from the event went to Lovin’ Spoonfuls, a food rescue organization.

Check out the scenes from the event at Boston Magazine

Video Segments can be found below:


Welcoming Remarks:

Bob Luz:

Operator Panel:

Charlie Perkins:

Chris Shaker:

Government Panel:

Restaurant Finance Conference:

After a one year hiatus due to Covid, the annual Restaurant Finance and

Development Conference sponsored by the Franchise Times was back at

it at the Bellagio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas from November 8th -10th

and RIW’s Russell Stein was in attendance. Notwithstanding continuing

Covid concerns, the conference saw a record crowd with many restaurant operators and capital providers looking to make deals. Although the conference speakers mentioned labor shortages and supply chain issues, there was plenty of discussion around the many opportunities available to those operators who are weathering the storm.  


Client News:

RIW would like to congratulate SPIN Boston on its new location in the Seaport. SPIN is a ping pong social club, with 14 ping pong tables, plus a restaurant and bar.



RIW would like to congratulate Timothy Dibble on the revival of the legendary Cantab Lounge in Cambridge.

RIW would like to congratulate Karen Akunowicz on her new location.

We are excited to have been part of the Bar Volpe project. 



"Laughter is brightest where food is best."

- Irish Proverb

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