Jeveli’s Restaurant in East Boston will be closing for the winter due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Tuesday will be the last day it’s open before shutting down for the season, according to Eric Jeveli, the owner of the Italian eatery.
Jeveli said the fears surrounding COVID-19 and the restrictions that have been placed on restaurants have simply made it impossible for him to keep the business open.
“We tried. There’s not enough customers to stay open right now," Jeveli said in a phone interview Monday. “It’s the whole COVID thing right now. I think everyone’s paranoid to come out.
Jeveli said many of his regular customers are older and they’re opting to stay at home.
“Senior citizens — they’re not going out,” he said.
Some members of his staff are also worried about catching the virus, he said.
“I have a few employees concerned about being so close to people all the time,” he said.
Jeveli’s Restaurant is located at 387 Chelsea St. in Day Square, and the eatery is something of an institution in East Boston. According to the restaurant’s website, it was started by Jeveli’s grandfather in 1924 and has evolved into a 228-seat restaurant that serves an average of over 250,000 people a year — but this year has been anything but typical.
Jeveli said he did not take the decision to shut down lightly.
“I feel bad for my employees, most have been here forever,” he said. “But it’s COVID, COVID, COVID."
Jeveli’s will be open from 12 noon to 9 p.m. Tuesday, he said.
Emily Sweeney can be reached at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @emilysweeney and on Instagram @emilysweeney22.