Faithful patrons of the Banshee rejoiced over the weekend when the beloved Dorchester Ave. fixture announced on social media that it would be reopening for takeout and delivery on May 6. After shuttering in accordance with Governor Charlie Baker’s orders on March 16, the establishment spent weeks considering next steps and putting appropriate safety procedures in place, co-owner Ray Butler told the Reporter.
“We spent the last couple of weeks thinking strong and hard about this, and we decided if we’re going to do it, we’re going to do it right,” said Butler.
In taking cues from other restaurants, the new-look Banshee has fully adapted to the times: after a “thorough cleaning” of the whole building, Butler said all the tables and chairs on the first floor were removed to accommodate social distancing, plastic screens were installed at credit card machines for customers who prefer not to pay over the phone, and masks, gloves, and sanitizer stations have been made readily available for all staff members.
“Before, we felt like we didn’t fully understand what was going on, and so our main concern was for the staff, to make sure they were healthy, safe, and felt comfortable coming back to work,” explained Butler. “Now we have everything in place to make them comfortable.”
The Banshee is primarily known as a watering hole and dine-in spot, which means the new normal of takeout-only service is “a bit of a different ballgame for us,” admitted Butler. But the bar is up to the task and demonstrating flexibility by offering takeout, curbside pickup, and delivery to anywhere in the Dorchester/South Boston area.
“Just call us, tell us what you want to do, and we’ll make it happen,” said Butler.
To start, the Banshee’s new operating hours will be Wednesday and Thursday from 4 - 8 p.m.; Friday from 12 - 8 p.m.; Saturday from 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.; and Sunday from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. A “limited” food menu still includes ample options with soups, appetizers, salads, burgers, sandwiches, and entrees like steak tips and fish and chips all available for order. In addition, the Banshee is offering a brunch menu on the weekends featuring omelettes, breakfast sandwiches, and mimosa and Bloody mary kits packaged to-go.
In the coming weeks, Butler said they also plan to offer “BBQ kits” with burgers, chicken, and steak tips marinated and ready to go with condiments and other fixings. Beer, wine, and prosecco are all available for takeout and delivery, as well.
Butler said in the end, the move to reopen was less of a business decision and more of a gesture of support and solidarity.
“We just want to be an amenity for the community,” he said. “Obviously, the business is not going to make a lot of money with this, but we’ve been in Dorchester for 24 years, and we just want to be a part of the community and show that we care about the people here.”