After reviewing the New Bedford US Post Office for wheelchair accessibility on Friday, my friends and I stopped for some lunch at Riccardi’s Italian Restaurant and decided to do a wheelchair accessibility of this place too.
There is one handicap parking space at the side of the restaurant. The entry is at ground level so no ramp is needed. There are two entry doors you need to enter before getting into this restaurant. As we approached the main entrance door Kevin and Justin, my friends noticed it had a lip about an inch tall so they decided to back my wheelchair up this lip. We then saw that the second entry door was very close and it had a tall step so we were a little perplexed on how I could enter.
A very nice waitress came out to help us with the second door. She placed a wooden ramp over the step so that I could wheel in. Another waitress came to hold the first door open while Kevin backed my wheelchair over the lip at first door and at the same time the waitress held the second door so Kevin could wheel my wheelchair up the wooden ramp. These two entry doors are very close to one another and both need to be held open at the same time for a wheelchair to get into the restaurant. If you are in a wheelchair you will definitely need a lot of help to get into Riccardi’s. Personally I always find it humiliating when it takes this much trouble for me just to enter a place.
Once inside we saw booths by the windows and tables in the center. A nice waitress removed a chair from a table so my wheelchair could fit at the table. The table height was perfect for my wheelchair. The waitress was very kind and communicated with me when she took my order. I really enjoyed having lunch here. My friends and I thought the food was wonderful and the service was great!
We then went to check out the restroom for accessibility. There is a door marked ‘Restrooms’ but it is not wheelchair accessible because the door is not wide enough to fit my wheelchair through. This door only led you into a hall where the restrooms are located. Kevin went in to check out the restrooms. He told me that once through the Restroom door there is a Gentlemen’s single restroom and then a couple of steps straight ahead where the Ladies single restroom is located. Kevin told me that even if I could have gotten through the first door I would have found the single restrooms not accessible for the doors are too narrow and the rooms are too small to fit my wheelchair through.
After we paid our bill and left the restaurant we went to check out the door that is marked ‘Take Out’. This door is not wheelchair accessible either for there is a step which prevents a person in a wheelchair from entering!
I give Riccardi’s ONE STAR for wheelchair accessibility. To earn the other Four Stars they need to install automatic entry doors, place a small threshold ramp at the two front entry doors, place a threshold ramp at the ‘Take Out’ door, widen the door that leads to the hall where the restrooms are located, widen both restroom doors and enlarge both restrooms so a wheelchair can fit inside the restroom. I give my waitress Five Stars for being so sensitive, helpful and kind. She provided great service and we all agreed the food was very good but I will not come back here again until they make it more wheelchair accessible!