Students may pack into Reservoir Wines and Spirits, Mary Ann’s Bar, and Pino’s Pizza on weekends and “Senior Tuesdays,” but Wednesday nights aren’t typically busy for Cleveland Circle businesses. Once the University announced it was closing due to the spread of the novel coronavirus on Wednesday evening, students flocked to the popular locations, creating an unusual surge in business.
A line snaked around Reservoir almost immediately after the 5 p.m. announcement, and Mary Ann’s and Pino’s Pizza both experienced high volumes of customers later in the night. Despite the immediate push to meet the sudden spike in demand, the owners of Reservoir and Pino’s Pizza are mainly concerned about how the Boston College shutdown will impact their businesses in the coming months.
“Boston College suspending classes is gonna have a big effect economically in the area,” George Haivanis, the owner of Reservoir, said while restocking Tito’s Vodka. “I personally have been here for 33 years. I guess summer … came two-and-a-half months early.”
While Reservoir employees were working hard to replenish the store’s stock, Pino’s was preparing for another night of high demand late Thursday afternoon. Feliciano (Phil) Petruzziello, the owner of Pino’s, expressed distaste with BC’s failure to notify surrounding businesses of the University’s decision to close campus.
“They don’t pay attention to the neighbors,” Petruzziello said of the University.
Petruzziello estimates BC students compose roughly 15 percent of Pino’s business and recognizes that going to the restaurant has been a BC tradition for “generations”—the pizzeria first opened in 1964. While discussing the effects of the shutdown, a patron overheard Petruzziello’s interview with The Heights and asked him for a picture. She said her husband, Dan Lynch, frequented Pino’s during his time as a student at BC.
Despite being 86 years old, Petruziello is hardly worried about the coronavirus, which the World Health Organization declared a pandemic on Wednesday.
“Perhaps because of my age, I’m not worrying as much as a young person. I mean, the war in Europe didn’t kill me,” Petruziello said, referring to World War II. “All the diseases and all the lack of food, the lack of medicine—I survived. But if this is destiny, you have to go.”
Since the announcement, many students have been gathering in large groups in bars, at Mod parties, and even at an impromptu Showdown outside of 2150 Commonwealth Ave. BC has not yet made a decision on plans for Senior Week, and many seniors have begun celebrating the end of their time at BC while still on campus. While shopping at Reservoir, one senior reflected on the situation:
“I’m pretty much disregarding most emails from professors—that’s going to be a Monday issue,” said Mike Vaiarella, CSOM ’20. “I’m just trying to maximize time with friends, … trying to really take advantage of every moment we have left.”
Featured Image by Kaylie Ramirez / Heights Senior Staff