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Step Back: More Bars and Restaurants Choosing to Close or Return to Takeout Only

Written By Scott Joseph On June 22, 2020

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Note: This article has been updated to include the information that the Oviedo Texas Roadhouse has reopened for curbside takeout.

As more people in Central Florida test positive for COVID-19, restaurants and bars are reexamining their business model – again – and more are choosing to voluntarily close temporarily or to end on-site dining and return to offering takeout and delivery.

In several cases reported over the weekend – including at Will’s Pub, the Pharmacy and Kiwi’s Pub & Grill – the closing were prompted by the discovery that either a staff member or patron had tested positive. The Waterford Lakes Gator’s Dockside sports bar joined that list late Sunday evening when it announced an employee who last worked on Thursday has the virus.

Others, such as Tori Tori, Iron Cow and TJ’s Seafood Shack, announced precautionary closings to affect a deep cleaning of the facility and to test all employees.

Hunger St. Tacos (shown at top), the popular Winter Park eatery, said that it would return to offering only takeout and delivery service beginning Monday, closing its outdoor dining area to patrons.

The Oviedo Texas Roadhouse, shown at top, had closed last week after an employee tested positive and other staff members did not show up for their work shifts. It has since reopened but for curbside takeout only. The managing partner, Desmond Yates, said Tuesday (June 23) that he would likely reopen the dining room next week but at 25 percent capacity instead of the allowed 50 percent.

The reversals are a tacit acknowledgement from the hospitality industry that the reopening of businesses has been implemented too rapidly and without proper, mandated procedures to protect staff and customers.

Almost all of these bars and restaurants made the decision to close voluntarily.

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