Eat It, Virginia


Richmond restaurants begin to voluntarily close due to the virus

Posted at 5:09 PM, Mar 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-16 07:40:15-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- While restaurants in Virginia were not included in Gov. Ralph Northam's ban on public gatherings of more than 100 people, some Richmond restaurants have opted to close as COVID-19 spreads.

For example, Acclaimed Scotts addition restaurant Longoven voluntarily closed its doors for at least two weeks Sunday.

“We got out of here last night, and everybody gave everybody a bump,” said chef and co-owner Patrick Phelan, who plans to pay his employees during the two weeks off.

However, Phelan knows that is not an option for all restaurants.

"The reality is for some people they can make a decision where they can insulate themselves and protect their entire team,” Phelan said. “For other restaurants I imagine it's the reality of laying people off.”

Virginia officials have not decided to close businesses in the wake of growing coronavirus concerns and Gov, Ralph Northam said restaurants should find ways to prevent the spread of the virus if they stay open.

"Space the tables out," Northam said. “In other words, don't at every table in the restaurant, but every other table to encourage the social distancing.”

"There are a lot of people that are balancing the everyday anxiety of, 'Can I hug my kids when I go home?'” Phelan said. “That up against, 'Can I save my business?' and my wait staff isn't going to get a job down the street tomorrow."

Phelan thinks a mandatory closure would provide greater clarity, especially coupled with tax relief and emergency unemployment for workers.

"The safety net for people's livelihoods is not going to have to be based on if you're sick or not,” Phelan said.

Brittanny Anderson, whose restaurants Metzger Bar and Butchery and Brenner Pass were open for business Saturday night, said the industry "in general, is not set up for this stuff... All of us just want to do the right thing."

However, as of Sunday evening, Anderson decided to close Metzger and Brenner Pass.

Anderson said the restaurants will try to-go meals in the interim.

Other restaurants, like Heritage in the Fan, have set up new business models.

"We will announce a in home dinner (we make, you bake), pick up menu starting Tuesday, with wine and beer to go as well," Heritage posted on social media. "We believe a unified response to this global pandemic is the best way to slow the spread and keep our community safe."

Learn more about Richmond restaurants, listen to "Eat It, Virginia!"

The following restaurants have announced temporary closures:

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❤️ UPDATE FROM THE VEIL BREWING CO. FAMILY ❤️⠀ ⠀ ❤️ Starting Tuesday March 17th, we will be moving to outdoor to-go sales only at both our Scott’s Addition(RVA) and Railroad District(NFK) locations for the foreseeable future. Cans will be sold directly outside of the main entrance of our taproom under a tent in the parking lot side of both locations. All draft and on-site consumption will be temporarily unavailable. We will be maintaining normal business hours in RVA and NFK. We will be closing our Funkhaüst Cafe temporarily for the foreseeable future also. ⠀ ⠀ ❤️ We will not be hosting food trucks in Richmond, and we will be offering a limited to-go menu from Codex at our Norfolk location. ⠀ ⠀ ❤️ We will be postponing our DC Draft pop-up at Dock 5 to an undetermined date. As of right now, we will be moving forward with the pop-up can release in DC at Craft Beer Cellar(@cbc_dc). We will be postponing all other events at this current time(i.e.-Neighborhood Clean-Up Crew, etc). Please stay tuned to our Facebook and Instagram for the most up to date info on events like these. ⠀ ⠀ ❤️ 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. ⠀ ⠀ ❤️ We will be monitoring how things progress closely and will update folks with any changes. Please stay tuned to our Facebook and Instagram pages. We will be posting any updates on here. Stay safe out there. Come through and grab some beer to drink at home with your family and loved ones. Love y’all!

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Greetings fellow Thieves, The past week has felt like a month, and things are continuing to change rapidly every day. We've decided to close our café for the foreseeable future. We want what is best for the health of our amazing staff and the community of which we feel so lucky to be a part. We'll be updating our website and social channels as soon as and when that changes, but for now, we want to do the right thing. Relatedly, we won't be holding our usual Friday tastings or having live music on Saturdays. We're also postponing our April 2 Biggest Tasting Ever. We will let you know when we are able to schedule another date. The shop will remain open from 12-6, 7 days a week. We'll keep our doors open for as long as it's safe. Let's face it, nights spent home alone need wine. We'll also be offering pre-assembled 3, 6 and 12 packs for pickup at the shop or delivery. Keep an eye on our social sites to see what we're assembling. Gift cards are available to purchase on our website! Buy it now, use it later. Link is in our bio. That said, there are a whole host of other businesses out there that could use your support as well. Spread the love. We can't tell you how grateful we are for your amazing support the last few days. Our community of wine lovers is amazing. We want you to know that the health and safety of our staff and community is our first priority. Please send your questions if you have them. We miss you already. Take care, be safe, and we will see you very soon! The BT Crew

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Thank you for your understanding and support.

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