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March 17 2020, day one : Mandatory shut down

Updated: Mar 26, 2020

and so it begins....

Today was the first day in 24 years that Bizen had to shut its doors due to a compulsory mandate from the State of Massachusetts because of the Corona virus. 

We received the directive on Sunday night 3/15 that Monday would be the last day we could open for patron dining. This sent an immediate current of alarm through our staff, everybody phantasizing their worst fears of unemployment, poverty, destitution and contamination.

There was a silver lining however, since we could stay open for take-out and delivery,

being deemed an essential service.

We all huddled together exchanging ideas for the most functional methods to

facilitate our “to-go” menu and possible delivery options.

The dominant question was would there be enough support from the Berkshire community to sustain Bizen over the course of the next month.

Tuesday is our first "to-go" only day and we are surprised by the quantity of business. To go orders trickle in as the community assess their food options. At 4.30 Tasja, my partner who has been working on our brand new website calls my office that people are lined up outside for take-out orders. I rush down to discover, that customers have travelled a long distance to order Bizen food to-go. One couple from NY State orders our Macrobiotic Platter with our organic, gluten free deserts and two women from Ghent order sushi rolls and cake. Expressions of gratitude that we remain open are balsam to our ears as we all at Bizen confront our own fears of the uncertainty of the future. Finally the last customer of the day leaves on an ominous note ”Forget quarantines. Let’s expose everyone and get over this. We’re all going to get it anyway. “. Thankfully we have the awareness to know, that we are working hard as a community to make sure to protect ourselves and the ones we love, especially the elderly and if we do so we can avoid the most appealing outcome.

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