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Encore Closes Restaurant After Gathering Issue

Tables in a restaurant with sanitizer, a mat for masks and wrapped utensils at The Encore Boston Harbor Casino in Everett on July 9, 2020. (Photo by Lane Turner/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
Tables in a restaurant with sanitizer, a mat for masks and wrapped utensils at The Encore Boston Harbor Casino in Everett on July 9, 2020. (Photo by Lane Turner/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

The Mystique restaurant at the Encore Boston Harbor casino in Everett has closed at least through the end of the calendar year after an incident there on Dec. 6 caught the attention of the Mass. Gaming Commission's Investigations and Enforcement Bureau.

On Sunday, Dec. 6, the restaurant operated by Big Night Entertainment had more guests than usual due to an "industry night" for people who work in the hospitality industry, Interim Director of the IEB Loretta Lillios said.

The restaurant was not over capacity, but guests seated at the bar and those seated at a long, narrow high-top table near the bar ended up mingling and making COVID-19 safety restrictions unhelpful. Lillios said that the area "looked less like a typical dining sit-down restaurant setting and more like an informal gathering.

Some guests did not remain seated at their dining spot and rather they walked around the area socializing." She said restaurant management "recognized that this was not an ideal situation and they closed the restaurant early."

After closing early for the night, Big Night Entertainment made the decision to shut Mystique down until some time in 2021. Lillios said the decision was made entirely by management and was not the result of any conversations with the Gaming Commission's IEB.

When the restaurant reopens next year, it will be subject to a review by the IEB, she said.

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