Mayor urges Richmond restaurants, bars to limit on-site service, eliminate bar seating

Posted at 3:03 PM, Mar 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-16 15:08:26-04

RICHMOND, Va. – The administration of Mayor Levar Stoney is recommending that all Richmond restaurants and bars eliminate bar seating and limit their on-site service to 50 percent of their normal capacity in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Recommendations also include that businesses move tables at least six feet apart and limit their service to 50 or fewer patrons.

The administration announced the recommendations Monday, in concurrence with recommendations by the CDC limiting gatherings of 50 people or more in US for the next eight weeks.

The administration says the recommendation does not affect any restaurant’s capacity to offer carryout and delivery.

Stoney urged residents to continue to patron city restaurants and businesses during this time.

“I urge you to keep ordering takeout and delivery and consider buying gift-cards for future use,” Stoney implored residents.

“This measure is taken in an abundance of caution and in the interest of the health of restaurant patrons and staff," said Stoney. "I understand that this action will take a toll on small businesses. That’s why we’re providing tax relief and exploring loan program options to support this valued community.”

On March 23, Stoney says the administration will introduce an amnesty for all penalties and interest on most local taxes due between March 13 and June 30.

“This proposed program will exclude personal property taxes on vehicles, motor vehicle license taxes, and vehicle license fees, as required by ordinance,” said the mayor’s office.

He says the city is also exploring options for a program to issue small, no-interest loans to support small businesses. He says additional information will be provided at a later date.