By Barbara Allen, Contributing Writer
Marlborough – As the COVID pandemic swept the country, restaurant owners were forced to rethink the way they do business to keep their doors open and serve customers safely.
“The pandemic was a transformational event for our business,” noted Michael Kennedy, of Kennedy’s Restaurant and Market. “Most everything we had done in the past had to be viewed through a new lens.”
Doing Business Safely and Creatively
When indoor dining was shut down, Kennedy’s continued to serve guests without compromising their safety. The restaurant initiated a drive-thru pickup service with a designated pickup lane. After ordering online or by phone, customers would drive up and masked staff would deliver their meal directly to their car, placing it in the back seat or trunk to minimize contact.
Kennedy’s also added an outdoor patio with patio heaters, firepit and garden where diners could savor the delicious, made-from-scratch meals for which the restaurant is known.
“Our guests loved [the patio],” Kennedy noted. “It enabled them to enjoy dining out in the safest way possible.”
With indoor dining temporarily relocated outdoors, the restaurant took the opportunity to refresh its interior. The bar was completely renovated, and high-top tables added. The décor received a contemporary update which incorporated homey elements so loved by guests over the years.
Traditional Favorites, New Weekly Specials
Undaunted by the pandemic, the restaurant has continued to offer traditional favorites always in demand by diners, such as broiled haddock, Chicken Supreme and steak-tips. Kennedy’s famous Delmonico potatoes, an ever-popular mainstay on the menu, are also available in Kennedy’s Market next door.
The restaurant is excited to welcome Chef Joseph Awokang to the staff. Classically trained, including years of study in Paris, Chef Joseph has introduced new specials, changed weekly, which have added a well-received twist to the traditional menu.
Community Commitment and Support
Despite the pandemic, Kennedy’s continued, through their Market, to provide hot meals to seniors at both the Marlborough and Southborough Senior Centers.
Kennedy applauded the teamwork of Trish Pope at Marlborough and Pam Le Francois and Peg Leonard at Southborough.
“They do an unbelievable job at making sure our seniors get a meal,” Kennedy noted. “Without them, seniors would go hungry.”
During these challenging times, Kennedy has been grateful for the help and guidance received from city authorities.
“…From the Mayor to the City Council, License board, Board of Health, and the Marlborough Economic Development Corporation, there was concerted effort to help and overwhelming support to…enable us to survive,” Kennedy acknowledged.
And for the community who have sustained them during the pandemic, the restaurant offered a heartfelt message:
“Thanks for all of your support. We are forever grateful.”