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Richmond restaurant responds to COVID concerns

Posted at 4:31 PM, Oct 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-23 18:30:45-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- Bingo Beer Co. used social media to respond to COVID-19 concerns raised after a photo of a densely-packed line of unmasked customers outside the Richmond restaurant was shared on Reddit.

"So what's happening at Bingo Bar tonight? Is it a covid party?" the Reddit poster, who asked to be referred to as a RVA craft beer enthusiast, posted.

Bingo.jpg
Line forms outside Bingo Beer Co. in Richmond.

In a Facebook post on Friday, Bingo Beer Co. addressed the photo.

"We acknowledge that this image is concerning and the concern for it. We too share this concern. We would like to take this opportunity to provide context for this snap shot and address our policies both inside and outside of Bingo Beer Co.⁣," the post began. ⁣ "Bingo is a large space with a capacity of over 600 people. We have voluntarily limited our max occupancy to 200 people as we believe this allows us to safely serve our guests inside in our dining room, out back on our patio, and outside in our parking lot beer garden. We have turned our parking lot into a beer garden to encourage greater use of our outdoor space and allow for more social distancing. The original post has been taken down because the OP had so many express that the snapshot taken is not indicative of the business we run or the safety protocols that we enact. We do very much appreciate that there is concern for the sidewalk outside of our space. Our voluntary occupancy limitation has created a scenario wherein a line may form outside. We are putting protocols in place to ensure that group size in line is limited to no more than 8 people, that all groups are distanced by at least 6 feet, and that all group members are wearing masks. Additionally, we are working with the security folk with whom we partner to bring an extra person on to supervise the line that may form.⁣"

The post went on to explain the restaurant does enforce an indoor mask policy when customers are not eating and no one is allowed to gather near the brewery's bar.⁣

"We have a large space and have distanced our tables a minimum of 6 feet inside our dining room, on our patio, and in our beer garden to assure the safe enjoyment of Bingo beer, food, and beverages. We hope you understand that the safety of our staff and guests is incredibly important to us. We wish you all the best and hope all remain safe," the post concluded.

On Friday, the Richmond Health Department confirmed Richmond restaurants/venues Slingshot Social Game Club, Good Tymes, Therapy, and Cornerstone Bar & Restaurant had their restaurant operating permits suspended over failure to meet the state's COVID-19 safety guidelines.

Earlier this week, the Henrico Health Department issued a warning to patrons of JJ’s Grille in Glen Allen after it linked a cluster of COVID-19 infections to an October 9 event there.

People who attended the concert may have been exposed to the virus, officials said and were advised to stay away from others until October 24.