Date Night In? Richmond Restaurants Are Closing Over Coronavirus.

By Elle Meyers

March 17, 2020

Restaurants and businesses in Richmond are voluntarily closing their doors in the hope of slowing down the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Although restaurants are not on the list of Governor Ralph Northam’s ban on public gatherings of 100 or more people, many have decided on their own to either switch to take-out only or temporarily close their doors completely.

In a press conference Sunday Northam explained that all of his mandates are made with the goal of reducing the spread of the virus.

“What we’re trying to achieve here is the kind of social distancing that experts tell us is critical to stopping the spread of the virus. We all want to end this pandemic,” he said.

Northam went on to explain that restaurants should change the way they typically do business by creating more space between customers and refrain from filling up an entire dining area.

“We want to be able to keep our businesses moving forward but as an example in a restaurant maybe space the tables out, in other words don’t seat people at every table in the restaurant, seat people at every other table to really encourage the social distancing,” he said. “This is all to keep Virginians safe.”

Brenner Pass, located in the northern part of Richmond, is one restaurant that has decided to switch its meal services to take-out only.

“It has been a hard decision to make but we believe we have a responsibility to our community to close the dining rooms of Brenner Pass, Chairlift, and Metzger Bar & Butchery for the time being,” the owners wrote in a post on Instagram. “ Our businesses are labors of love for us and it is our greatest joy to bring you food, drink and hospitality each day but we recognize that we are on the front lines of prevention during the Covid-19 pandemic and we want to #flattenthecurve.”

Brenner Pass and their other restaurants will avoid having customers in their dining rooms by offering curbside pick up and take away options.

Brewing companies like The Veil Brewing Co. have moved to outdoor, to-go sales of their drinks and have cancelled hosting any food trucks and pop up events in the foreseeable future according to a post on Instagram.

“The safety of our customers and staff are of the utmost importance. We sincerely believe taking these precautions will drastically increase our chances of protecting everyone,” they wrote.

Although the changes to dining out and date night are disruptive the vast majority of restaurants are vowing to reevaluate the situation over time and follow guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This way in the near future restaurants can open their doors once again.

“We will be monitoring how things progress closely and will update folks with any changes. Stay safe out there,” wrote The Veil Brewing Co.

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